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Illinois scientists link dietary DHA to male fertility
Date:1/9/2012

p>In the absence of DHA, the vesicles are formed but they don't come together to make the arch that is so important in sperm cell structure, he noted.

Nakamura finds the role this omega-3 fatty acid plays in membrane fusion particularly exciting. Because DHA is abundant in specific tissues, including the brain and the retina as well as the testes, the scientists believe their research findings could also impact research relating to brain function and vision.

"It's logical to hypothesize that DHA is involved in vesicle fusion elsewhere in the body, and because the brain contains so much of it, we wonder if deficiencies could play a role, for example, in the development of dementia. Any communication between neurons in the brain involves vesicle fusion," he noted.

The Illinois scientists will continue to study sperm; meanwhile, Nakamura has sent some of his DHA-deficient knockout mice to other laboratories where scientists are studying DHA function in the brain and the retina.


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Contact: Phyllis Picklesimer
p-pickle@illinois.edu
217-244-2827
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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