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The Effects of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Dietary Supplementation in a Mouse Model of Stargardt-like Macular Dystrophy (STGD3) Open Access


Other title
Docasahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
Animal Model
Retinal Degeneration
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Hong, Mandy
Supervisor and department
Sauvé, Yves (Ophthalmology)
Examining committee member and department
Field, Catherine (Human Nutrition)
Allison, Ted (Biological Sciences)
Chan, Catherine (Human Nutrition)
Centre for Neuroscience

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Underlying mechanisms of how docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) might impact the progression of macular degeneration are unknown. We relied on the ELOVL4 mouse model of juvenile macular degeneration, STGD3, to test the hypothesis that antenatal DHA dietary supplementation (2% w/w of total fatty acid) would slow down the progression of retinal degeneration as evidenced by preserved function, anatomy, and DHA levels. DHA+, DHA-, and chow diets commenced antenatally. Retina function was assessed by electroretinogram at 1 and 3 months, while anatomical integrity and fatty acid profiles were assessed with cross-sectional staining and UPLC/MS/MS, respectively, at 3 months. Results showed a negative ELOVL4 genotype effect on rod function, photoreceptor numbers, and DHA/AA levels. Surprisingly, in transgenic retinas DHA supplementation resulted in lower DHA levels compared to non-supplemented. Although beneficial effects of DHA have been reported, antenatal and 3 month postnatal supplementation is not sufficient to elicit these effects in mice with STGD3.
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