Maternal Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Intake and Brain Health of the Offspring
Monday, Sept. 25, 1-2 p.m.
Innocent Uzochukwu Okagu
Department of Biochemistry
Date: September 25, 2023
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Room: CSF 1302
Lipids make up over half of brain content, and the composition of brain lipids changes with age and diet. Brain lipids’ alteration has been identified in many neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Studies show that omega(n)-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) improve brain health by preventing neuroinflammation and oxidation and increasing neurogenesis, neurotransmission, and positive behavior. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that maternal diets enriched in n-3 PUFA promoted the accretion of brain total docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the fetal brain during gestation. The accretion of DHA in the developing brain correlated with the expression of neurotrophins, signal molecules that enhance neurogenesis, memory, and cognition. However, these studies did not establish the specific lipid classes that the DHA is associated with and if there were other important changes in specific lipids and fatty acids in the fetal brain that may affect brain function. Changes in lipid composition are associated with physicochemical properties of the neuronal membranes, and their function that can further impact brain function and behaviour. The focus of my PhD program is to study the effects of maternal diets high or low in n-3 PUFA on fetal brain lipidomics profile and how it affects membrane dynamics to influence brain function. I am also using an animal model of schizophrenia to investigate the effects of maternal diets high or low in n-3 PUFA on offspring behaviour, and establish an association with brain lipidome and neuronal membrane dynamics.
Presented by Department of Biochemistry