Essentiality of arachidonic acid intake in murine early development

Erisa Hatanaka, Akiko Harauma, Hidemi Yasuda, Junnosuke Watanabe, Manabu T. Nakamura, Norman Salem, Toru Moriguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We previously reported the importance of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA (>C20)) intake, including arachidonic acid (ARA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), for growth. This follow-up study focuses on ARA using a novel artificial rearing model during the lactation period in delta-6-desaturase knockout (D6D-KO) mice. Newborn D6D-KO male mouse pups were separated from dams within 48 hours and fed artificial milks containing 18-C essential fatty acids (EFAs) (16-17% LA, 3.8-4.1% ALA) with or without 1.2% ARA. After weaning, mice were maintained on similar diets: 15% LA, 2.3-2.4% ALA with or without 1.9% ARA. As a reference group, new born wild type (WT) male mouse pups were maintained by artificial milk and diet containing LA and ALA without ARA. Aspects of brain function were measured behaviorally (motor activity and rota-rod test) when mice were age 9 weeks. Body weight in the KO-Cont group was significantly lower (approximately 30%) than in the WT-Cont group, but this decrease was ameliorated by providing ARA in the KO-ARA group. The motor activity and coordination in the KO-Cont group decreased markedly compared to the WT-Cont group. The KO-ARA group had a tendency toward deteriorated motor coordination, although the motor activity was significantly enhanced compared to the KO-Cont group. In KO-ARA group brains, the level of ARA was increased and DHA decreased compared to WT-Cont. These results suggest that intake of LA and ALA only is insufficient to support healthy growth, and that ARA is also required, at least during the lactation period. These findings also suggested that continued intake of relatively high levels of ARA and without supplemental DHA during development led to an increased motor activity above that of WT animals. These studies indicate that both ARA dose and proper combination with DHA must be delineated to define optimal growth and behavioral function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalProstaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Arachidonic acid
  • Delta-6-desaturase
  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Knock-out mouse
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Essentiality of arachidonic acid intake in murine early development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this