Food and Behaviour Research

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Fatty acids differentially affect serotonin receptor and transporter binding in the rat brain.

du Bois TM, Deng C, Bell W, Huang XF. (2006) Neuroscience. 139(4) 1397-403. 

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Abstract:

The aim of this study was to examine the influence of different fat diets on serotonin receptor and transporter binding. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a diet of either high saturated fat, omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid or low fat (control) for eight weeks. Using Beta-Imager quantification techniques, [(3)H]ketanserin, [(3)H]mesulergine and [(3)H]paroxetine binding to serotonin (5-HT)(2A), 5-HT(2C) receptors and 5-HT transporters (5-HTT) was measured throughout the brain in all four groups. All three high fatty acid diets influenced serotonin receptor binding, however the most pronounced effects were that compared with the low fat control group, i) 5-HT(2A) receptor binding was increased in the caudate putamen, but reduced in the mammillary nucleus in high saturated fat and high omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid diet groups; ii) 5-HT(2C) receptor binding was reduced in the mamillary nucleus of saturated fat group and reduced in prefrontal cortex of the omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid groups; and iii) 5-HTT binding was reduced in the hippocampus in the omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid group. Overall, the omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid diet exerted the most influence on serotonin receptor and transporter binding. These results may be of importance in relation to neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia, where associations between altered fatty acid levels and the serotonergic system have been made.