2008 Volume 214 Issue 3 Pages 213-220
Long chain fatty acids are important nutrients for brain development and function. However, the molecular basis of their actions in the brain is still to be clarified. Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) belong to the multigene family of the intracellular lipid-binding protein. FABPs bind to long chain fatty acids, being involved in the promotion of cellular uptake and transport of fatty acids, the targeting of fatty acids to specific metabolic pathways, and the regulation of gene expression. FABPs are widely expressed in mammalian tissues, with distinct expression patterns for the individual protein. Although FABPs have been implicated to serve as regulators in systemic cellular metabolic pathways, recent studies have demonstrated the ability of FABPs to regulate functions of the brain, one of the most fat-enriched tissues in the body. This review summarizes the localization of FABPs in the brain, and recent progress in elucidating the function of FABPs in the brain.