Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Biology

Abstract

Bipolar disease is a severe and chronic debilitating mental disorder affecting 1-3% of the population. Omega-3-fatty acids have been shown to relieve symptoms of bipolar disorder and are not associated with the negative side effects of lithium and valproate, two of the commonly used drugs for treating this condition. The mechanism of action of omega-3-fatty acids remains unknown. Therefore the purpose of this study was to determine if, like lithium and valproate, omega-3-fatty acids affect inositol metabolism. This was accomplished by investigating the effect of the omega-3-fatty acid docosahexanoic acid (DHA) on the growth of inositol pathway mutants. To measure the effects of DHA we grew an inositol auxotrophic mutant (SH1) and an inositol overproducing mutant (SH7) in the presence and absence of DHA and compared the growth. The results were similar to previous studies done with valproate, showing that in the absence of DHA, growth of the inositol overproducer is better than the growth of the inositol auxotroph due to the abundance of inositol in the overproducing mutant. The results also show that DHA inhibits growth of all strains including the inositol overproducing strain. Therefore, it may be concluded DHA has an effect on the inositol pathway since the decrease in growth of the overproducing strain may be due to a decrease in the inositol levels of the overproducing strain by DHA.

Subject Area

Omega-3-fatty acids, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Inositol

Included in

Biology Commons

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