Lipids boost the brain

Lipids boost the brain
Top: Membranes containing monounsaturated (left) and polyunsaturated (right) lipids after adding dynamin and endophilin. In a few seconds membranes rich in polyunsaturated lipids undergo many fissions. (Credit: © Mathieu Pinot) Bottom: Transferrin (iron transport) endocytosis in cells containing polyunsaturated lipids in their membranes (right) compared to those of cells without polyunsaturated lipids (left). In 5 minutes, the number of endocytosis vesicles formed (transferrin brought in is red) is increased by almost a factor of 10, reflecting easier endocytosis. (Credit: © Hélène Barelli)

Consuming oils with high polyunsaturated fatty acid content, in particular those containing omega-3s, is beneficial for the health. But the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are poorly known. Researchers at the Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (CNRS/Université Nice Sophia Antipolis), the Unité Compartimentation et Dynamique Cellulaires (CNRS/Institut Curie/UPMC), the INSERM and the Université de Poitiers investigated the effect of lipids bearing polyunsaturated chains when they are integrated into cell membranes. Their work shows that the presence of these lipids makes the membranes more malleable and therefore more sensitive to deformation and fission by proteins. These results, published on August 8, 2014 in Science, could help explain the extraordinary efficacy of endocytosis in neuron cells.

Consuming polyunsaturated (such as ) is good for the health. The effects range from to protection against cerebral ischemia. However the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects are poorly understood, prompting researchers to focus on the role of these fatty acids in function.

For a cell to function properly, the membrane must be able to deform and divide into small vesicles. This phenomenon is called endocytosis. Generally, these vesicles allow the cells to encapsulate molecules and transport them.. In neurons, these will act as a transmission pathway to the synapse for nerve messages. They are formed inside the cell, then they move to its exterior and fuse with its membrane, to transmit the neurotransmitters that they contain. Then they reform in less than a tenth of a second: this is synaptic recycling.

In the work published in Science, the researchers show that cell- or artificial membranes rich in polyunsaturated lipids are much more sensitive to the action of two proteins, dynamin and endophilin, which facilitate membrane deformation and fission. Other measurements in the study and in simulations suggest that these lipids also make the membranes more malleable. By facilitating the deformation and scission necessary for endocytosis, the presence of polyunsaturated lipids could explain rapid synaptic vesicle recycling.. The abundance of these lipids in the brain could then represent a major advantage for cognitive function.

This work partially sheds light on the mode of action of omega-3. Considering that the body cannot synthesize them and that they can only be supplied by a suitable diet (rich in oily fish, etc.), it seems important to continue this work to understand the link between the functions performed by these lipids in the neuronal membrane and their health benefits.

Explore further

High serum omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content protects against brain abnormalities

More information: M. Pinot, et al. Polyunsaturated phospholipids facilitate membrane deformation and fission by endocytic proteins. Science, 2014; 345 (6197): 693 DOI: 10.1126/science.1255288
Journal information: Science

Provided by CNRS
Citation: Lipids boost the brain (2014, August 11) retrieved 19 October 2019 from
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Aug 12, 2014
'...the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are poorly known."

However, some researchers have described the link from quantum physics to the quantum biology of these "poorly known" mechanisms, as if much was known but simply ignored.

A quantum theory for the irreplaceable role of docosahexaenoic acid in neural cell signalling throughout evolution http://www.ncbi.n...23206328

Perhaps the problem, as always, is that when ecological variation is linked to ecological adaptations via nutrient-dependent changes and amino acid subtitutions that differentiate the cell types of all species from microbes to man, evolutionary theorists are left without a theory of mutation-initiated natural selection that leads to evolved biodiversity. Instead, it becomes obvious that biodiversity is nutrient-dependent and arises via the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific pheromones that control the physiology of reproduction.


Aug 12, 2014
JVK: Same crap spammed thousands of times on this forum, for a bogus hypothesis that has been proven false repeatedly. Spammer James V Kohl, you are a fraud. Your snake oil "Scent of Eros" product is a scam.

Aug 12, 2014
animah seems to have difficulty understanding biologically based cause and effect.

Nutrient uptake, including that associated with docosahexaenoic acid, epigenetically effects cell type variation in every cell of every tissue of every organ in every organ system via the conserved molecular mechanisms that link information about nutrient uptake to changes in the microRNA/messenger RNA balance, alternative splicings of pre-mRNA and cell type differentiation by amino acid substitutions. In mammals, for example, the information transfer occurs via the common hematapoietic tree.

See, for example: Plasticity in the transcriptional and epigenetic circuits regulating dendritic cell lineage specification and function

Aug 12, 2014
I've mentioned before that the explanations of biologically-based cause and effect that are particularly important to refutation of pseudoscientific nonsense touted in the context of mutation-initiated natural selection and the evolution of biodiversity appear to be coming from researchers who may not have been taught to believe in the theory of evolution. For example, see also:


Israeli middle schools just started teaching evolutionary theory so students could compare it to accurate representations of how ecological variation leads to ecological adaptations in species from microbes to man. Elsewhere, researchers seem to be having difficulty making scientific progress because they were taught to believe in a ridiculous theory.


Aug 12, 2014
James V Kohl, considering you just quoted an islamic fundamentalist creationist on another thread as "supporting evidence" for your "theory", and with this post above ranting about Israeli schools, you have finally revealed the true extent of your lunatic belief. Good for us.

Aug 12, 2014
Lunatic beliefs? Where do you think the refutations of pseudoscientific nonsense are coming from. Besides, the evidence isn't theoretical. The biological facts have been established and fully supported by experimental evidence. Why do you think I provide the links to the evidence?

While amino acids could be synthesised over 4 billion years ago, only oxidative metabolism allows for the synthesis of highly unsaturated fatty acids, thus producing novel lipid molecular species for specialised cell membranes.

Excerpt from Crawford et al (2013)
A quantum theory for the irreplaceable role of docosahexaenoic acid in neural cell signalling throughout evolution

"The cell membrane lipid bilayer is the home of about one third of all known cellular proteins. These are the transporters, ion channels, receptors and signalling systems, and are dependent on the lipid domains in which they sit."

"The species, organ and even sub-cellular specificity of lipids testifies to exact demands of ..."

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