Extensive evidence suggests that long term dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids deficiency results in altered emotional behavior. N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid deficiency induces emotional alterations through abnormal corticosterone secretion which leads to altered dendritic arborisation in the prefrontal cortex.
In this study, glucocorticoid receptor signaling was inactivated in the prefrontal cortex but not in the hippocampus of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid deficient mice. They found that dendritic arborisation was only affected in the prefrontal cortex. The authors concluded that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid deficiency compromised the prefrontal cortex, leading to dendritic atrophy, but did not change hippocampal glucocorticoid receptor function and dendritic arborisation. The authors suggest that these changes contribute to n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid deficiency-related emotional behavior deficits.
Larrieu T, Hilal ML, De Smedt-Peyrusse V, Sans N, Layé S: Nutritional Omega-3 Deficiency Alters Glucocorticoid Receptor-Signaling Pathway and Neuronal Morphology in Regionally Distinct Brain Structures Associated with Emotional Deficits. Neural Plasticity [Epub ahead of print 2016:8574830. doi: 10.1155/2016/8574830].