Perinatal exposure to diets with different n-6:n-3 fatty acid ratios affects olfactory tissue fatty acid composition

Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 1;10(1):10785. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-67725-9.


The olfactory mucosa (OM) and the olfactory bulb (OB) are responsible for the detection and processing of olfactory signals. Like the brain and retina, they contain high levels of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are essential for the structure and function of neuronal and non-neuronal cells. Since the influence of the maternal diet on olfactory lipid profiles of the offspring has been poorly explored, we examined the effects of feeding mice during the perinatal period with diets containing an adequate linoleic acid level but either deficient in α-linolenic acid (ALA) or supplemented in n-3 long-chain PUFAs on the lipid composition of dams and weaning offspring olfactory tissues. In both the OM and OB, the low n-3 ALA diet led to a marked reduction in n-3 PUFAs with a concomitant increase in n-6 PUFAs, whereas consumption of the high n-3 PUFA diet reduced n-6 PUFAs and increased n-3 PUFAs. Structural analysis showed that the molecular species profiles of the main phospholipid classes of olfactory tissues from weaning pups were markedly affected by the maternal diets. This study demonstrates that the PUFA status of olfactory tissues is sensitive to diet composition from the early stages of development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Diet*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6 / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Maternal Exposure*
  • Mice
  • Olfactory Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6