DHA Selectively Protects SAMP-8-Associated Cognitive Deficits Through Inhibition of JNK.


Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. [Email]


A potential role of marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) has been suggested in memory, learning, and cognitive processes. Therefore, ω-3 PUFAs might be a promising treatment option, albeit controversial, for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Among the different mechanisms that have been proposed as responsible for the beneficial effects of ω-3 PUFAs, inhibition of JNK stands as a particularly interesting candidate. In the present work, it has been studied whether the administration of two different PUFAs (docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)) and a DHA-derived specialized pro-resolving lipid mediator (MaR1) is able to reverse cognitive deficits in the senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) mouse model of sporadic AD. The novel object recognition test (NORT) test showed that recognition memory was significantly impaired in SAMP8 mice, as shown by a significantly decreased discrimination index that was reversed by MaR1 and DHA. In the retention phase of the Morris water maze (MWM) task, SAMP8 mice showed memory deficit that only DHA treatment was able to reverse. pJNK levels were significantly increased in the hippocampus of SAMP8 mice compared to SAMR1 mice, and only DHA treatment was able to significantly reverse these increased pJNK levels. Similar results were found when measuring c-Jun, the main JNK substrate. Consequently to the increases in tau phosphorylation after increased pJNK, it was checked that tau phosphorylation (PHF-1) was increased in SAMP mice, and this effect was reversed after DHA treatment. Altogether, DHA could represent a new approach for the treatment of AD through JNK inhibition.


Alzheimer’s disease,Cognitive deficit,JNK inhibitors,N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs),Tau,