Effects of Omega-3-Fatty Acids

Marlene Murray (Biology)

The Effects of Omega-3-Fatty Acids on Intracellular myo-Inositol

Lithium and valproate have been the mainstay of bipolar disorder treatment for more than fifty years.  They are however not always effective and not well tolerated by a significant number of patients.  In addition, the molecular mechanism underlying their therapeutic benefit is unclear which hinders the development of more effective and safer treatment.  One hypothesized mechanism is the ‘myo-inositol depletion hypothesis’.  Although not approved for treatment of bipolar disorder, omega-3-fatty acids have been shown to alleviate symptoms of bipolar disorder.  The goal of this project is to determine if omega-3-fatty acids also have the effect of depleting inositol. The study will be conducted in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae-an organism used for many years as a model for understanding the pathophysiology of several human diseases.