In summary, in vitro studies have demonstrated that fatty acids induce tight junction formation in brain capillary ECs. On the other hand, brain endothelial cells take up preformed PUFA and transfer them into the brain. Furthermore, astro-cytes can complete the conversion of precursors to DHA and arachidonic acid. Astrocytes may modulate tight junctions through provision of fatty acids.

Further Reading

Abbott, N. J. (2002). Astrocyte-endothelial interactions and blood-brain barrier permeability. J Anat. 200, 629-638. This article provides a detailed review of the role of barrier induction and modulation in normal physiology and in pathology. Bernoud, N., Fenart, L., Benistant, C., Pageaux, J. F., Dehouck, M. P., Moliere, P., Lagarde, M., Cecchelli, R., and Lecerf, J. (1998). Astro-cytes are mainly responsible for the polyunsaturated fatty acid enrichment in blood-brain barrier endothelial cells in vitro. J. Lipid Res. 39, 1816-1824. This article demonstrated that astrocytes could play a major role in the delivery of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids to the barrier itself and to the brain. Calderon, V., Lazaro, A., Contreras, R. G., Shoshani, L., Flores-Maldonado, C., Gonzalez-Mariscal, L., Zampighi, G., and Cereijido,

M. (1998). Tight junctions and the experimental modifications of lipid content. J. Membrane Biol. 164, 59-69.

Contreras, M. A., and Rapoport, S. I. (2002). Recent studies on interactions between w-3 and w-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in brain and other tissues. Curr. Opin. Lipidol. 13, 267-272. This article summarizes recent studies on interactions between w-3 and w-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in brain and other tissues.

Innis, S. M., and Dyer, R. A. (2002). Brain astrocyte synthesis of docosa-hexaenoic acid from w-3 fatty acids is limited at the elongation of docosapentaenoic acid. J. Lipid Res. 43,1529-1536.

Jiang, W. G., Bryce, R. P., Horrobin, D. F., and Mansel, R. E. (1998). Regulation of tight junction permeability and occludin expression by polyunsaturated fatty acids. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 244, 414-420.

Lindmark, T., Kimura, Y., and Artursson, P. (1998). Absorption enhancement through intracellular regulation of tight junction permeability by medium chain fatty acids in Caco-2 cells. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 284, 362-369.

Moore, S. A. (2001). Polyunsaturated fatty acid synthesis and release by brain-derived cells in vitro. J. Mol. Neurosci. 16, 195-200.

Williard, D. E., Harmon, S. D., Kaduce, T. L., and Spector, A. A. (2002). Comparison of 20-, 22-, and 24-carbon w-3 and w-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid utilization in differentiated rat brain astrocytes. Prostaglandins Leukot. Essent. Fatty Acids 67, 99-104.

Yamagata, K., Tagami, M., Takenaga, F., Yamori, Y., Nara, Y., and Itoh, S.

(2003). Polyunsaturated fatty acids induce tight junctions to form in brain capillary endothelial cells. Neuroscience 116, 649-656.

Capsule Biography

Dr. Yamagata is at the Laboratory of Preventive Nutrition, Department of Food Science and Technology College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University. His current research includes control of tight junctions and brain and nutrients.

Dr. Tagami is at the Department of Internal Medicine, Sanraku Hospital. He is studying the pathology of stroke.

Dr. Nara is with the Laboratory of Health Science, Department of Biological Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Shujitu University.

Dr. Itoh is at the Laboratory of Food Science, Department of Food Science and Technology College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University. He is studying fatty acids analysis and brain nutritional relation.

Dr. Yamori is with the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Research on Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases studying preventive nutrition and food.

Dr. Yokogoshi is with the Laboratory of Nutritional Biochemistry, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, The University of Shizuoka, and his current research is Nutritional Biochemistry.

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