AUSTRALIA: In a recent global study published in the journal EMBO, researchers at the University of Queensland have highlighted the crucial role of saturated fat in memory formation in the brain. The Queensland Brain Institute which is led by Dr. Isaac Akefe established an intricate links between fat and muscle interactions and provides potential therapeutic approaches.
As per statistics reveal, the brain being composed on 60 percentage of fats, heavily rely on the fatty acids. As a result it generates the occurance of an important component made up of phospholipids for its primary functions. Dr. Akefe along with his team have identified phospholipase A1 (PLA1), an enzyme that interacts with the protein STXBP1 in the synapse. It furthers form a stable lipid complex which is necessary for the memory storage in the brain.
Prof F Meunier’s laboratory demonstrated that STXBP1 regulates PLA1 enzyme localization, affecting fatty acid release and synaptic transmission. The combined mutations in the PLA1 and STXBP1 genes can reduce adiposity. It is associated with various vascular diseases. The researchers traditionally used mouse models lacking the PLA1 gene. Eventually they found out that even the lower levels of saturated free fatty acid before memory loss, suggesting a role for the enzyme in memory acquisition.
This finding holds commitment for understanding memory formation and offers potential therapeutic applications for Alzheimer's disease. Further research has been carried out in collaboration with the University of New South Wales and the Scripp Research Institute. This research successfully highlights the importance of saturated fat in vascular health. PhD candidates Saber Abd Elkader and Benjamin Matthews significantly contributed to the research.
The other findings include the ushering of improved new avenues for manipulating memory acquisition pathways. It also offers a hope for the treatment and cure of various neurodegenerative diseases posing a threat to human life.