Regional membrane phospholipid alterations in Alzheimer's disease

M. Renuka Prasad, Mark A. Lovell, Mustafa Yatin, Harbhajan Dhillon, William R. Markesbery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

410 Scopus citations


Regional levels of membrane phospholipids [phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylinositol (PI), phosphatidylcholine (PC)] were measured in the brain of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and control subjects. The levels of PE- derived and PI-derived total fatty acids were significantly decreased in the hippocampus of AD subjects. Here significant decreases were found in PE- derived stearic, oleic and arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids, and in PI- derived oleic and arachidonic acids. In the inferior parietal lobule of AD subjects, significant decreases were found only in PE and those decreases were contributed by stearic, oleic and arachidonic acids. In the superior and middle temporal gyri and cerebellum of AD subjects, no significant decreases were found in PC-, PE- and PI-derived fatty acids. The decrease of PE and PI, which are rich in oxidizable arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids, but not of PC, which contains lesser amounts of these fatty acids, suggests a role for oxidative stress in the increased degradation of brain phospholipids in AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by funding from NIH grants 2PO1-AGO5119 and 5P50-AGO5144 and from the Abercrombie Foundation. The authors thank Paula Thomason for critical reading of the manuscript and Huaichen Liu for technical assistance.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Free fatty acids
  • Phosphatid ylinositol
  • Phosphatidylcholine
  • Phosphatidylethanolamine
  • Phospholipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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