Saturated fatty acid levels increase when memories are made

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FIG. 1: Distribution of free fatty acids (FFA) and phospholipids in the rat brain. a For each of the 32 animals used in this study, basolateral amygdala (BLA) tissue, central amygdala (CeA), prefrontal cortex of the anterior brain (PFC), and ventral hippocampus were dissected. ), the dorsal hippocampus (DH), and the cerebellum (CB), as indicated by dotted lines in Cresil’s violet-stained brain sections with the corresponding Bregma coordinates. Scale bar = 1 mm. b Identification and quantification of phospholipids by diagnostic ionic fragmentation in mass spectrometry by liquid chromatography (LCMS). A hypothetical spectrum of phospholipid negative mode fragmentation masses is shown. Fragment (parent) (M), sn-1 (R1), and sn-2 (R2) ion masses are unique to each species and are used to monitor multiple reactions (MRM, inset) LCMS to quantify abundance. c Schematic representation of FFA analysis using stable fatty acid isotope labeling (FFAST). For a given brain region, FFAs extracted from animals from different experimental conditions (paired saline, unpaired saline, paired CPP, unpaired CPP, see Figure 2) were individually labeled at the carboxy terminal using FFAST-124 or FFAST- 127. Samples were combined, added to internal standards labeled with FFAST-138, and analyzed using LCMS. The 3 labeled variants of each FFA species show similar chromatographic elution times and the proportion of each FFAST fragment relative to the internal standard fragment allows quantification of FFA abundance in the condition. This workflow was repeated eight times, to establish the abundance of FFA in each of the eight animals used in each experimental condition. d – i Measurements of the profile of FFA and 5 classes of phospholipids (PA – phosphatidic acid, PC – phosphatidylcholine, PE – phosphatidylethanolamine, PG – phosphatidylglycerol, PS – phosphatidylserine) through the brains of control rats (unpaired saline) from of auditory fear conditioning experiments, with analytes shown by the composition of the acyl chain. The bars represent the total measure of the analyte, with color bars corresponding to the average individual analyte concentrations (pmol / mg of tissue) observed in eight animals. Error bars represent the cumulative standard error of the mean (SEM) for all analytes. Source data is provided as a source data file. From: Saturated free fatty acids and association with memory formation

According to research from the University of Queensland, saturated fatty acid levels rise unexpectedly in the brain during memory formation, opening up a new avenue of research into how memories are made.

Dr. Tristan Wallis, from the laboratory of Professor Frederic Meunier of the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at UQ, traditionally said: were considered important for health and memory, but this study highlighted the unexpected role of saturated fatty acids.

“We tested the most common fatty acids to see how their levels change as new memories formed in the brain,” Dr. Wallis.

“Unexpectedly, saturated changes in brain cells were the most marked, especially that of myristic acid, which is found in coconut oil and butter.

“In the kitchen, saturated fats are those that are solid at room temperature, while unsaturated fats are usually liquid.

“The brain is the fattest organ in the body, with 60% fat, which provides energy, structure and helps transmit messages between brain cells.

“Fatty acids are the basic components of lipids or fats and are vital for communication between nerve cells, as they help —Microscopic bags containing neurotransmitters— to fuse with the cell membrane and transmit messages between cells.

“It simply came to our notice then they communicate with each other on a plate, increasing levels of saturated fatty acids. “

Researchers have found that levels of fatty acids in the rat brain, especially saturated fatty acids, increase as memories form, but when they used a drug to block learning and in rats, fatty acid levels did not change.

The highest concentration of saturates was found in the amygdala, the part of the brain involved in the formation of new memories specifically related to fear and strong emotions.

Professor Pankaj Sah, collaborator of the study and director of QBI, said the work opened a new avenue on how memory was formed.

“This research has enormous implications for our understanding of synaptic plasticity: the change that occurs in the junctions between neurons that allow them to communicate, learn, and build memories,” Professor Sah said.

This work is published in Communications on Nature and with support from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and a grant from the Australian Research Council.


Is coconut oil good for you?


More information:
Tristan P. Wallis et al, Saturated free fatty acids and association with memory formation, Communications on Nature (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-021-23840-3

Provided by the Queensland Brain Institute

Citation: Saturated fatty acid levels increase when memories are made (2021, June 28) retrieved June 28, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-saturated-fatty-acid-memories. html

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