Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Eicosapentaenoic Acid or Docosahexaenoic Acid Improved Ageing-Associated Cognitive Decline by Regulating Glial Polarization

Juan Xia, Longen Yang, Chengyi Huang, Shuyi Deng, Zhiyou Yang, Yongping Zhang, Cai Zhang, Cai Song*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neuroinflammation induced by microglial and astrocyte polarizations may contribute to neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment. Omega (n)-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects, but conflicting results were reported after different n-3 PUFA treatments. This study examined both the change in glial polarizations in ageing rats and the differential effects of two omega-3 PUFAs. The results showed that both PUFAs improved spatial memory in ageing rats, with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) being more effective than eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The imbalance between microglial M1/M2 polarizations, such as up-regulating ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (IBA1) and down-regulating CD206 and arginase-1 (ARG-1) was reversed in the hippocampus by both n-3 PUFAs, while the DHA effect on CD206 was stronger. Astrocyte A1 polarization presented increasing S100B and C3 but decreasing A2 parameter S100A10 in the ageing brain, which were restored by both PUFAs, while DHA was more effective on S100A10 than EPA. Consistent with microglial M1 activation, the concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 were significantly increased, which were attenuated by DHA, while EPA only suppressed IL-6. In correlation with astrocyte changes, brain-derived neurotrophic factor precursor was increased in ageing rats, which was more powerfully down-regulated by DHA than EPA. In summary, enhanced microglial M1 and astrocytic A1 polarizations may contribute to increased brain pro-inflammatory cytokines, while DHA was more powerful than EPA to alleviate ageing-associated neuroimmunological changes, thereby better-improving memory impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number398
JournalMarine Drugs
Volume21
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ageing
  • glial polarization
  • memory impairment
  • n-3 PUFAs

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