Preserving Brain LPC-DHA by Plasma Supplementation Attenuates Brain Injury after Cardiac Arrest

Mitsuaki Nishikimi, Muhammad Shoaib, Rishabh C. Choudhary, Tomoaki Aoki, Santiago J. Miyara, Tsukasa Yagi, Kei Hayashida, Ryosuke Takegawa, Tai Yin, Lance B. Becker, Junhwan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Cardiac arrest (CA) is a major health burden with brain damage being a significant contributor to mortality. We found lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC), including a species containing docosahexaenoic acid (LPC-DHA), was significantly decreased in plasma post-CA, supplementation of which significantly improved neurological outcomes. The aim of this study is to understand the protective role of LPC-DHA supplementation on the brain post-CA. Methods: We first evaluated associations between the plasma level of LPC-DHA and neurological injury and outcomes of human patients with CA. We then utilized a rat CA model and cell cultures to investigate therapeutic and mechanistic aspects of plasma LPC-DHA supplementation. Results: We found that decreased plasma LPC-DHA was strongly associated with neurological outcomes and disappearance of the difference between gray and white matter in the brain after CA in human patients. In rats, the decreased plasma LPC-DHA was associated with decreased levels of brain LPC-DHA after CA, and supplementing plasma LPC-DHA normalized brain levels of LPC-DHA and alleviated neuronal cell death, activation of astrocytes, and expression of various inflammatory and mitochondrial dynamics genes. We also observed deceased severity of metabolic alterations with LPC-DHA supplementation using untargeted metabolomics analysis. Furthermore, LPC treatment showed a similar protective effect for neurons and astrocytes in mixed primary brain cell cultures. Interpretation: The observed neuroprotection accompanied with normalized brain LPC-DHA level by plasma supplementation implicate the importance of preventing the decrease of brain LPC-DHA post-CA for attenuating brain injury. Furthermore, the data supports the causative role of decreased plasma LPC-DHA for brain damage after CA. ANN NEUROL 2022;91:389–403.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-403
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


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