Prenatal lack of omega 3 and omega 6 linked to schizophrenic symptoms in offspring

ab2e11d2-b2e0-49ac-adb1-0a481f5589faarticleimage.jpg

06 Sep 2017 --- Researchers have discovered a process through which changes in nutrition during early mouse pregnancy lead to offspring that develop schizophrenic-like symptoms as adults. Published in Translational Psychiatry, the study from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan shows how deprivation of two polyunsaturated fatty acids during early gestation can have long-lasting effects on offspring through specific changes in gene expression.

Harmful conditions during pregnancy are known to affect the health status of offspring, even resulting in adult-onset diseases – for example, prenatal alcohol exposure has been linked to an increase in the likelihood of addiction. This concept – known as the Development Origin of Health and Disease (DOHaD) – could explain why rates of schizophrenia have been observed to double after famines, the RIKEN press release points out.

In order to develop effective treatments for schizophrenia, Takeo Yoshikawa and his team at RIKEN report that they are researching exactly how malnutrition during early development changes the brain.

“Our work is the first in the field of psychiatry to identify a molecular cascade that links nutritional environment to disease risk in the context of the DOHaD paradigm,” study first author Motoko Maekawa notes.

Linking nutrients to schizophrenia
The first step to figuring out the “how” of the study was to determine the most likely nutrient whose deficiency is related to schizophrenia. The team chose to study two specific polyunsaturated fatty acids – the omega 3 fatty acid DHA and the omega 6 fatty acid AA – because they are abundant in the brain and are known to be related to brain development. RIKEN reports that the team tested their theory by depriving pregnant mice of DHA and AA and testing whether their adult offspring shared characteristics shown by people with schizophrenia.

People in the early stages of schizophrenia have several common symptoms, including low levels of motivation, depression, impaired memory and abnormal brain function in the prefrontal cortex. The adult mice whose mothers were deprived of DHA and AA showed similar symptoms.

As dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex is a hallmark of schizophrenia, the team reports that it looked next at how DHA and AA deprivation affects gene expression in that part of the brain. Among the hundreds of affected genes, they found a group of genes downregulated in people with schizophrenia that were also downregulated in the affected mice. These genes are related to oligodendrocytes, cells in the brain that surround neurons and help the transmission of signals in the brain.

Additionally, expression of genes affecting the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter system were altered in ways that mimicked findings from the postmortem brains of people with schizophrenia.

Gene expression can be controlled by a certain class of proteins called nuclear receptors that attach to DNA and initiate the transcription process that builds proteins from the DNA code. When the team conducted further analysis of the fatty-acid deprived mice, they found several nuclear receptor genes related to fatty acids had been downregulated.

The abnormal expression of oligodendrocyte-related genes could be traced directly back to the low expression of these nuclear receptors, which in turn could be traced back to higher levels of DNA methylation, a common way to regulate gene expression. In this way, it was found that the altered diet succeeded in creating long-lasting changes in gene expression.

The results of the prenatal study come at a time when it has already been suggested that the prenatal supplements industry should review product formulations. Meanwhile, omega 3 and omega 6 continue to be linked with positive health claims, as was shown when Bunge’s soybean health oil claim was approved by the US FDA based on a petition that included a summary of recent major clinical studies showing the potential benefits of soybean oil to heart health. The petition was based partly on its high concentration of polyunsaturated omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids versus other oils and fats

The study, “Polyunsaturated fatty acid deficiency during neurodevelopment in mice models the prodromal state of schizophrenia through epigenetic changes in nuclear receptor genes,” is published in Trans Psychiatry.

Related Articles

Business News

Natures Crops, De Wit Speciality Oils enter into European distribution partnership for Ahiflower oil

15 Feb 2018 --- Natures Crops International and De Wit Speciality Oils have entered into a distribution agreement for Ahiflower oil in the European dietary supplement marketplace. This alliance is thought to add strategic value for both companies through each company’s leading position in manufacturing and marketing nutraceutical products.

Nutrition & Health News

“New gold standard”: Salmon with double the omega 3 content introduced in US

13 Feb 2018 --- Aquaculture producers Kvarøy and Blue Circle Foods, along with feed company BioMar, have announced the production of salmon that offers a 100 percent increase in marine omega 3 content. According to the companies involved, this farmed salmon contains one of the lowest levels of marine contaminants in the market and boasts a record-breaking fish-in, fish-out ratio of .47 to 1, setting a new “gold standard” for the aquaculture industry.

Nutrition & Health News

Immunity boosters (Part 2): Not diplomatic about immunity – Innovation, new ingredients and R&D

12 Feb 2018 --- Immune health continues to drive trends in the nutrition industry. Today, in the second part of a special report, NutritionInsight continues its in-depth look at the latest ideas in the industry in the immune health space.

Business News

Fermentalg acquires portfolio of omega 3 production patents in bid to strengthen technological position

06 Feb 2018 --- French microalgae supplier Fermentalg has acquired a portfolio of patents to reinforce its intellectual property and industrial and commercial capabilities in the field of omega 3 production. Fermentalg now owns a portfolio of five patents, some of which have already been issued in several countries, to add to its 21 families of active patents already filed. The company has also acquired a number of microalgae strains to add to its bank of over 2,000 strains which is one of the largest in the world.

Nutrition & Health News

Common food preservative enhances schizophrenia treatment, study finds

02 Feb 2018 --- The common food preservative sodium benzoate improves symptoms in clozapine-resistant schizophrenia patients, according to a new study published in Biological Psychiatry. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial led by Hsien-Yuan Lane, M.D., Ph.D., of China Medical University, Taiwan, showed that adding on sodium benzoate to the antipsychotic clozapine improved symptoms in patients who did not see results with any other medications, providing a new option for the hardest-to-treat patients.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/prenatal-lack-of-omega-3-and-omega-6-linked-to-schizophrenic-symptoms-in-offspring.html