These results suggest the potential use of fish oil in treating Down syndrome. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Fish oil improves gene targets of Down syndrome in C57BL and BALB/c mice.
Nutr Res. 2015 May ;35(5):440-8. Epub 2015 Mar 1. PMID: 25799055
Peter A Zmijewski
We have considered a novel gene targeting approach for treating pathologies and conditions whose genetic bases are defined using diet and nutrition. One such condition is Down syndrome, which is linked to overexpression of RCAN1 on human chromosome 21 for some phenotypes. We hypothesize that a decrease in RCAN1 expression with dietary supplements in individuals with Down syndrome represents a potential treatment. Toward this, we used in vivo studies and bioinformatic analysis to identify potential healthy dietary RCAN1 expression modulators. We observed Rcan1 isoform 1 (Rcan1-1) protein reduction in mice pup hippocampus after a 4-week curcumin and fish oil supplementation, with only fish oil reduction being statistically significant. Focusing on fish oil, we observed a 17% Rcan1-1 messenger RNA (mRNA) and 19% Rcan1-1 protein reduction in BALB/c mice after 5 weeks of fish oil supplementation. Fish oil supplementation starting at conception and in a different mouse strain (C57BL) led to a 27% reduction in hippocampal Rcan1-1 mRNA and a 34% reduction in spleen Rcan1-1 mRNA at 6 weeks of age. Hippocampal protein results revealed a modest 11% reduction in RCAN1-1, suggesting translational compensation. Bioinformatic mining of human fish oil studies also revealed reduced RCAN1 mRNA expression, consistent with the above studies. These results suggest the potential use of fish oil in treating Down syndrome and support our strategy of using select healthy dietary agents to treat genetically defined pathologies, an approach that we believe is simple, healthy, and cost-effective.