Research ArticleNEUROSCIENCE

Elovanoids are a novel class of homeostatic lipid mediators that protect neural cell integrity upon injury

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Science Advances  27 Sep 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 9, e1700735
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700735


We report the characterization of a novel class of lipid mediators termed elovanoids (ELVs) (ELV-N32 and ELV-N34), which are dihydroxylated derivatives of 32:6n3 and 34:6n3, respectively. The precursors of ELVs are made by elongation of a 22:6n3 fatty acid and catalyzed by ELOVL4 (elongation of very-long-chain fatty acids–4). The structure and stereochemistry of ELVs were established using synthetic compounds produced by stereocontrolled total synthesis. We report that ELV-mediated protection is induced in neuronal cultures undergoing either oxygen/glucose deprivation or N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor–mediated excitotoxicity, as well as in experimental ischemic stroke. The methyl ester or sodium salt of ELV-N32 and ELV-N34 resulted in reduced infarct volumes, promoted cell survival, and diminished neurovascular unit disruption when administered 1 hour following 2 hours of ischemia by middle cerebral artery occlusion. Together, our data reveal a novel prohomeostatic and neuroprotective lipid-signaling mechanism aiming to sustain neural cell integrity.

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