Dietary cis-fatty acids that increase protein F1 phosphorylation enhance spatial memory

Ka L. Wong, Kentaro Murakami, Aryeh Routtenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Activation of protein kinase C (PKC) facilitates long-term potentiation (LTP), a model of memory, and increases its substrate protein F1 (aka GAP43) phosphorylation in direct relation to synaptic enhancement. Unsaturated fatty acids (c-FAs) which activate purified PKC, when injected into hippocampus, enhance LTP. To determine if dietary c-FAs could alter memory itself as well as brain PKC substrate (F1) metabolism, rats were maintained for 10 weeks on fatty acid diets enriched in mono-unsaturated oleic acid (OA; 20% olive oil, w/w), or a mono- and di-unsaturated mixture of oleate/linoleate (O/L; 20% corn oil), or a saturated fatty acid diet of laurate/myristate (L/M; 20% hydrogenated coconut oil). The O/L diet group was superior to the OA and L/M groups in spatial memory performance after the first two weeks of acquisition and in later achievement of criterion performance. The O/L diet had a significantly higher hippocampal protein F1 in vitro phosphorylation than in both the OA and L/M in trained and non-trained animals. Significantly, animals that made fewer errors showed higher F1 phosphorylation (r = -0.70). Diet both increases brain PKC substrate phosphorylation and enhances maze learning, confirming the feasibility of enhancing learning and memory by dietary regimens derived from basic neurochemical studies of synaptic plasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-305
Number of pages4
JournalBrain research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 29 1989


  • F-phosphorylation
  • GAP 43
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Protein kinase C
  • Spatial memory
  • cis-Fatty acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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