Jay Burgess


Dietetics/Nutrition Fitness Health Dual Degree


A method of treating retinoic acid differentiated SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in the free acid form has been developed in order to examine impacts of such supplementation on fatty acid composition of cells and on functional outcomes. Through Bovine Serum Albumin: ALA conjugation, an ALA treatment media was created and compared to the stock media which contained no detectible amounts of ALA. Results from fatty acid analysis of the control cells (n=3) and ALA-supplemented cells (n=3) showed a significantly higher content of ALA in ALA-supplemented cells (37.35 mol%) compared to control cells (<0.01 mol%), and a significantly higher amount of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in ALA-supplemented cells (2.51 mol%) compared to control cells (<0.01 mol%). These results indicate that the method of media enrichment of ALA on SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells proved successful. The results also show that unenriched SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells incubated in 1% FBS are devoid of the essential fatty acids ALA and EPA, and that SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells are capable of converting ALA to EPA. This research provides the framework and basis to study the extent to which ALA supplementation affects functional outcomes, such as neurotransmitter release.