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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 723269, 9 pages
Research Article

Effects of ω-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Plasma Proteome in Rett Syndrome

1Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese (AOUS), Viale M. Bracci 16, 53100 Siena, Italy
2Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, University Hospital AOUS, Viale M. Bracci 16, 53100 Siena, Italy
3Department of Medical Biotechnologies, University of Siena, Via A. Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy
4Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, University of Siena, Via A. Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy
5Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron (IBMM), UMR 5247, CNRS/UM1/UM2/ENSCM, BP 14491, 34093 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
6Department of Life Science, University of Siena, Via A. Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy
7Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Via Borsari 46, 44100 Ferrara, Italy
8Department of Food and Nutrition, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea

Received 10 October 2013; Revised 4 November 2013; Accepted 7 November 2013

Academic Editor: Paul Ashwood

Copyright © 2013 Claudio De Felice et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The mechanism of action of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) is only partially known. Prior reports suggest a partial rescue of clinical symptoms and oxidative stress (OS) alterations following ω-3 PUFAs supplementation in patients with Rett syndrome (RTT), a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder with transient autistic features, affecting almost exclusively females and mainly caused by sporadic mutations in the gene encoding the methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) protein. Here, we tested the hypothesis that ω-3 PUFAs may modify the plasma proteome profile in typical RTT patients with MECP2 mutations and classic phenotype. A total of 24 RTT girls at different clinical stages were supplemented with ω-3 PUFAs as fish oil for 12 months and compared to matched healthy controls. The expression of 16 proteins, mainly related to acute phase response (APR), was changed at the baseline in the untreated patients. Following ω-3 PUFAs supplementation, the detected APR was partially rescued, with the expression of 10 out of 16 (62%) proteins being normalized. ω-3 PUFAs have a major impact on the modulation of the APR in RTT, thus providing new insights into the role of inflammation in autistic disorders and paving the way for novel therapeutic strategies.