Author(s): Park EJ, Suh M, Clandinin MT
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Abstract PURPOSE: During early development, the ganglioside composition of the retina changes significantly, in that GD3 becomes the primary ganglioside in the mammalian retina. Because gangliosides play an important role in neuronal cell differentiation and proliferation, this change in ganglioside profile may indicate retinal maturation. Dietary long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPs) such as 20:4n-6 and 22:6n-3 improve visual acuity in infants. Dietary LCPs stimulate neonatal retinal development by altering membrane phospholipids, which in turn affect cell signaling pathways. It is unknown whether dietary ganglioside and LCPs affect the metabolism of phospholipids and gangliosides during retinal development. METHODS: Male Sprague-Dawley rats (18 days old) were fed semipurified diets consisting of 20\% fat (control diet) for 2 weeks containing either 0.1\% ganglioside enriched in GD3 (GG diet) or 1\% 20:4n-6 and 0.5\% 22:6n-3 (LCP diet) in the control diet. The profile of ganglioside and phospholipid was measured. RESULTS: The GG diet increased the ganglioside content by 39\% in the retina, with a relative increase in GD3 (by 13\%). Dietary LCPs significantly increased the relative levels of GD3 (by 19\%, P < 0.01). Total phospholipid was decreased by the LCP-supplemented diet (by 28\%). Phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylserine increased with concomitant decreases in phosphatidylinositol and lyso-phosphatidylethanolamine when animals were fed either the LCP or the GG diet. CONCLUSIONS: Animals fed dietary ganglioside increased in total retinal ganglioside and GD3 content during retinal development, with a concomitant alteration of phospholipid metabolism. Feeding animals dietary LCPs also affected ganglioside metabolism in the developing retina, suggesting a new mechanism by which these dietary lipids may promote maturation of photoreceptor cells.
This article was published in Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci
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