Pascoe MC, Crewther SG, Carey LM, Crewther DP. (2011) Clin Nutr. May 27. [Epub ahead of print]
As essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) influence both inflammatory and depressive disorders, nutrition related treatment methods deserve great research interest. However, currently biological mechanisms underlying the depression modulating effects of the PUFA Omega-3 (ω-3) and Omega-6 (ω-6) derived eicosanoids (central nervous system messengers) are not fully established. Depression related naturally occurring cell death (apoptosis) is thought to be mediated by excitotoxicity and free radicals that appear in the brain immediately following any inflammatory or ischemic damage, and increases the likelihood of clinically defined depression. This review explores the hypothesis that the interaction between ω-6 and ω-3 derived eicosanoids plays a central role in control over apoptosis linked with inflammation and inflammation-driven depression, via regulation of apoptosis inducing factors including excitotoxicity and free radicals.