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Mapping lipid distribution in the human brain for the first time

Scientists have found out in the study of lipid distribution in the human brain 93 percent The lipids in the brain are distributed differently between the white and gray matter in the areas of the visual cortex, motor cortex and frontal cortex of the brain. Mapping this distribution can help doctors understand mental and cognitive disorders.

At an article which recently appeared in the magazineNature Communications” has been published, scientists found that lipidoma abnormalities in the human brain can be one of the main causes of mental disorders and cognitive diseases; In this way, lipid distribution mapping and the examination of its distribution abnormalities can help doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

One of the main components of brain tissue are lipids or fat compounds 35 to 40 percent The total molecules in the gray matter of the brain and approx 78 percent They form the white matter of the brain. Brain tissue lipids are very diverse and include cholesterol, phosphorus-containing compounds such as phospholipids and sphingolipids, and other molecules.

Since lipids play a role in the metabolism and growth of neurons, sending signals between cells and controlling inflammatory processes, abnormality in lipidome composition is related to cognitive disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease.

However, the relationship between lipidome and the structural characteristics of brain tissue is not well known, which limits the use of lipids as molecular markers for the diagnosis of brain diseases.

Researchers of the Institute of Science and TechnologySkolkovoand their colleagues prepared the world's first map of human brain lipids. They studied brain tissue samples obtained from four healthy adults and the fat composition in 75 episodes Different brains were evaluated.

The lipids in the samples were identified using mass spectrometry, which allows determining the structure of a molecule from the mass-to-charge ratio and its movement pattern in the magnetic field.


Overall, the researchers 419 lipids found different ones, most of them (93 percent) are unevenly distributed in the parts of the human brain; For example, the subcortex, motor cortex and visual cortex had relatively high levels of cholesterol. While the frontal cortex of the brain, which is responsible for complex social behavior and decision-making, had relatively low levels of this fat.

Since most of the lipids are found in the myelin sheath (a sheath of membrane that surrounds and protects the axon. The axon is a long, thin filament whose job is to transmit nerve messages to other cells), the research team investigated the myelin content in the Is there any specific effect on lipids in the brain? Finally, it was found that white matter rich in myelin contains more ceramides, two types of phospholipids and lipids with saturated fatty acids.

The main task of white matter is to transmit signals through axons; For this reason, it is believed that these types of lipids are necessary for the tissue in order to perform their task.

On the other hand, polyunsaturated fatty acid lipids predominated in the gray matter, which contains a concentration of cell bodies instead of axons and almost no myelin. This suggests that such molecules may be important for signal processing in cells.

The researchers of this project intend to fully examine the subcortical lipidome, which this research has only studied a part of Brain samples Also isolate and analyze patients with mental disorders.

Maria OstrovaAs one of the center's researchers said: “Fully deciphering the potential of the lipidome will help us better understand the nature of mental illness and its impact on the structure and function of the brain.”

Mhd Narayan

Bringing over 8 years of expertise in digital marketing, I serve as a news editor dedicated to delivering compelling and informative content. As a seasoned content creator, my goal is to produce engaging news articles that resonate with diverse audiences.

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