Nutritional Omega-3 Deficiency Abolishes Endocannabinoid-Mediated Neuronal Functions

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The corollaries of the obesity epidemic that plagues developed societies are malnutrition and resulting biochemical imbalances. Low levels of essential n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) have been linked to neuropsychiatric diseases, but the underlying synaptic alterations are mostly unknown. We found that lifelong n-3 PUFAs dietary insufficiency specifically ablates long-term synaptic depression mediated by endocannabinoids in the prelimbic prefrontal cortex and accumbens. In n-3—deficient mice, presynaptic cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) normally responding to endocannabinoids were uncoupled from their effector Gi/o proteins. Finally, the dietary-induced reduction of CB1R functions in mood-controlling structures was associated with impaired emotional behavior. These findings identify a plausible synaptic substrate for the behavioral alterations caused by the n-3 PUFAs deficiency that is often observed in western diets.

Source: Nutritional omega-3 deficiency abolishes endocannabinoid-mediated neuronal functions
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