Evaluation of chronic omega-3 fatty acids supplementation on behavioral and neurochemical alterations in 6-hydroxydopamine-lesion model of Parkinson's disease

Neurosci Res. 2010 Mar;66(3):256-64. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2009.11.006. Epub 2009 Nov 24.


Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFAs) have been widely associated to beneficial effects over different neuropathologies, but only a few studies associate them to Parkinson's disease (PD). Rats were submitted to chronic supplementation (21-90 days of life) with fish oil, rich in omega-3 PUFAs, and were uni- or bilaterally lesioned with 4microg of the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) in the medial forebrain bundle. Although lipid incorporation was evidenced in neuronal membranes, it was not sufficient to compensate motor deficits induced by 6-OHDA. In contrast, omega-3 PUFAs were capable of reducing rotational behavior induced by apomorphine, suggesting neuroprotection over dyskinesia. The beneficial effects of omega-3 PUFAs were also evident in the maintenance of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances index from animals lesioned with 6-OHDA similar to levels from SHAM and intact animals. Although omega-3 PUFAs did not modify the tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the substantia nigra pars compacta and in the ventral tegmental area, nor the depletion of dopamine (DA) and its metabolites in the striatum, DA turnover was increased after omega-3 PUFAs chronic supplementation. Therefore, it is proposed that omega-3 PUFAs action characterizes the adaptation of remaining neurons activity, altering striatal DA turnover without modifying the estimated neuronal population.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apomorphine / pharmacology
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / enzymology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Dopamine Agonists / pharmacology
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Male
  • Motor Activity* / drug effects
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / enzymology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Oxidopamine
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / chemically induced
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / diet therapy*
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / metabolism*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism


  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Oxidopamine
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Apomorphine
  • Dopamine