Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Supplementation Alters Phospholipid Species and Lipid Peroxidation Products in Adult Mouse Brain, Heart, and Plasma

Grace Y. Sun, Michael K. Appenteng, Runting Li, Taeseon Woo, Bo Yang, Chao Qin, Meixia Pan, Magdalena Cieślik, Jiankun Cui, Kevin L. Fritsche, Zezong Gu, Matthew Will, David Beversdorf, Agata Adamczyk, Xianlin Han, C. Michael Greenlief

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The abundance of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in phospholipids in the brain and retina has generated interest to search for its role in mediating neurological functions. Besides the source of many oxylipins with pro-resolving properties, DHA also undergoes peroxidation, producing 4-hydroxyhexenal (4-HHE), although its function remains elusive. Despite wide dietary consumption, whether supplementation of DHA may alter the peroxidation products and their relationship to phospholipid species in brain and other body organs have not been explored sufficiently. In this study, adult mice were administered a control or DHA-enriched diet for 3 weeks, and phospholipid species and peroxidation products were examined in brain, heart, and plasma. Results demonstrated that this dietary regimen increased (n-3) and decreased (n-6) species to different extent in all major phospholipid classes (PC, dPE, PE-pl, PI and PS) examined. Besides changes in phospholipid species, DHA-enriched diet also showed substantial increases in 4-HHE in brain, heart, and plasma. Among different brain regions, the hippocampus responded to the DHA-enriched diet showing significant increase in 4-HHE. Considering the pro- and anti-inflammatory pathways mediated by the (n-6) and (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids, unveiling the ability for DHA-enriched diet to alter phospholipid species and lipid peroxidation products in the brain and in different body organs may be an important step forward towards understanding the mechanism(s) for this (n-3) fatty acid on health and diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-129
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroMolecular Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Heart
  • Hippocampus
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Lipidomics
  • Plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Molecular Medicine


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