In adult rats, omega-6 linoleic acid (LA, 18:2n-6) serves as a precursor to oxidized LA metabolites (OXLAMs) known to regulate multiple signaling processes in the brain. However, little is known regarding the levels or role(s) of LA and its metabolites during brain development. To address this gap, fatty acids within various brain lipid pools, and their oxidized metabolites (oxylipins) were quantified in brains from 1-day-old male and female pups using gas chromatography and liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry, respectively. Primary neuron-glia co-cultures derived from postnatal day 0–1 male and female rat neocortex were exposed to vehicle (0.1% ethanol), LA, the OXLAM 13-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid (13-HODE), or prostaglandin E2 at 10–1000 nM for 48 h to test their effects on neuronal morphology. In both male and female pups, LA accounted for 1–3% of fatty acids detected in brain phospholipids and cholesteryl esters. It was not detected in triacylglycerols, and free fatty acids. Unesterified OXLAMs constituted 47–53% of measured unesterified oxylipins in males and females (vs. ~5–7% reported in adult rat brain). Of these, 13-HODE was the most abundant, accounting for 30–33% of measured OXLAMs. Brain fatty acid and OXLAM concentrations did not differ between sexes. LA and 13-HODE significantly increased axonal outgrowth. Separate analyses of cultures derived from male versus female pups revealed that LA at 1, 50, and 1000 nM, significantly increased axonal outgrowth in female but not male cortical neurons, whereas 13-HODE at 100 nM significantly increased axonal outgrowth in male but not female cortical neurons. prostaglandin E2 did not alter neuronal outgrowth in either sex. This study demonstrates that OXLAMs constitute the majority of unesterified oxylipins in the developing rat brain despite low relative abundance of their LA precursor, and highlights a novel role of LA and 13-HODE in differentially influencing neuronal morphogenesis in the developing male and female brain. (Figure presented.).
- fatty acids
- neuronal morphogenesis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience