Omega-3 deficiency disrupts myelination processes during brain development

  • Date de publication : 2021-09-14


Leyrolle Q, Decoeur F, Dejean C, Brière G, Leon S, Bakoyiannis I, Baroux E, Sterley T, Bosch-Bouju C, Morel L, Amadieu C, Lecours C, St-Pierre MK, Bordeleau M, De Smedt-Peyrusse V, Sere A, Schwendimann L, Grégoire S, Bretillon L, Acar N, Joffre C, Ferreira G, Raluca U, Thebault P, Gressens P, Tremblay ME, Layé S, Nadjar A, Omega-3 deficiency disrupts myelination processes during brain development, Glia, doi: 10.1002/glia.24088. Epub 2021 Sep 14.


Westernization of dietary habits has led to a progressive reduction in dietary intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs). Low maternal intake of n-3 PUFAs has been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders, conditions in which myelination processes are abnormal, leading to defects in brain functional connectivity. Only little is known about the role of n-3 PUFAs in oligodendrocyte physiology and white matter development. Here, we show that lifelong n-3 PUFA deficiency disrupts oligodendrocytes maturation and myelination processes during the postnatal period in mice. This has long-term deleterious consequences on white matter organization and hippocampus-prefrontal functional connectivity in adults, associated with cognitive and emotional disorders. Promoting developmental myelination with clemastine, a first-generation histamine antagonist and enhancer of oligodendrocyte precursor cell differentiation, rescues memory deficits in n-3 PUFA deficient animals. Our findings identify a novel mechanism through which n-3 PUFA deficiency alters brain functions by disrupting oligodendrocyte maturation and brain myelination during the neurodevelopmental period.