Natural lecithin promotes neural network complexity and activity

Shahrzad Latifi, Ali Tamayol, Rouhollah Habibey, Reza Sabzevari, Cyril Kahn, David Geny, Eftekhar Eftekharpour, Nasim Annabi, Axel Blau, Michel Linder, Elmira Arab-Tehrany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Phospholipids in the brain cell membranes contain different polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are critical to nervous system function and structure. In particular, brain function critically depends on the uptake of the so-called â € essentialâ € fatty acids such as omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) PUFAs that cannot be readily synthesized by the human body. We extracted natural lecithin rich in various PUFAs from a marine source and transformed it into nanoliposomes. These nanoliposomes increased neurite outgrowth, network complexity and neural activity of cortical rat neurons in vitro. We also observed an upregulation of synapsin I (SYN1), which supports the positive role of lecithin in synaptogenesis, synaptic development and maturation. These findings suggest that lecithin nanoliposomes enhance neuronal development, which may have an impact on devising new lecithin delivery strategies for therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number25777
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - May 27 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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