The expression and function of fatty acid-binding proteins in microglia: what potential role do they play in the uptake of docosahexaenoic acid?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Introduction. The overactivation of microglia leads to the excessive release of proinflammatory mediators, causing prolonged neuroinflammation, which is detrimental to brain health. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been shown to alleviate neuroinflammation by inhibiting the release of proinflammatory mediators from microglia. Therefore, the uptake of DHA into microglia is essential for reducing neuroinflammation. Cytoplasmic carrier proteins, fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs), are involved in DHA trafficking in other cell types.

Aims. This study focused on screening whether various FABP isoforms are expressed in microglia, and whether they are involved in the uptake of DHA into microglia.

Methods. Using immortalised mouse microglia (BV-2) cells, quantitative reverse-transcriptase real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting were used to quantitatively determine the mRNA and protein levels of the 10 known FABP isoforms.

Results. FABP3, FABP4, and FABP5 were expressed at both the mRNA and protein level in BV-2 cells. A genetic knockdown approached was then taken to investigate the involvement of these highly expressed FABP isoforms in the microglial uptake ofDHA-d5. Interestingly, following 77.5-92.3% (at mRNA level) and 45.4-81.7% (at protein level) knockdown of FABP3, FABP4, andFABP5 at 48 hours, no changes in DHA-d5 uptake into microglia was observed at 2 min.

Discussion. This suggested the involvement of other microglial DHA uptake mechanisms, such as the possible involvement of membrane transporters like fatty acid transport proteins (FATPs).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventASCEPT-APSA Joint Scientific Meeting, 2020 - , Australia
Duration: 24 Nov 202026 Nov 2020


ConferenceASCEPT-APSA Joint Scientific Meeting, 2020
Abbreviated titleASCEPT-APSA 2020
OtherThe theme for this meeting was: Global solutions for global challenges
Internet address

Cite this