AbstractThe long-chain fatty acid composition of cholesterol esters, phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylinositol (PI) from parahippocampal cortex of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and control subjects was examined. In general the PC fraction contained less polyunsaturated long-chain fatty acids than did PE, PS or PI. Of the n-6 polyunsaturated long-chain fatty acids, PI contained the greatest incorporation of these acids followed by PE. There were significant differences between controls and AD patients in total n-6 EFAs. Arachidonic acid (C20:4n-6) was the predominant fatty acid of this family found to be present. In AD, PE and PS showed a deficit of adrenic acid (C22:4n-6) content and PE also contained less arachidonic acid. In AD subjects, the cholesterol esters contained significantly less n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids with, specifically, a reduction in alpha-linolenic acid. Acetyl CoA content of hippocampal cortex was greater in AD patients than in control subjects indicating either an increased extent of oxidative metabolism or a failure to utilise acetyl CoA for anabolic processes. Abnormal magnitude of oxidative processes could give rise to the biosynthesis of PE and PS species containing less n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids than occurs in control subjects.
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