Polydipsia in rhesus monkeys deficient in omega-3 fatty acids

Sydney Reisbick, Martha Neuringer, Romana Hasnain, William E. Connor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    55 Scopus citations


    Omega-3 fatty acids are a major component of neural membranes. They are essential nutrients for normal biochemical development of the brain and retina and may affect behavior. In our studies of long-term dietary omega-3 fatty acid deficiency, we have found a new effect of this deficiency in rhesus monkeys. Deficient monkeys visited the home cage drinking spout more frequently than controls (Experiment 1), and drank more water over 24 hours (Experiment 3), ahe increase in intake was mirrored by increased combined output of urine + feces over 24 hours (Experiment 3), and was not due to spillage (Experiment 4). The dietary deficiency greatly reduced omega-3 fatty acids in red blood cells but did not affect serum electrolyte levels. The changes in fluid intake and output may be related to direct or indirect effects on central or peripheral control mechanisms for drinking or excretion, which may be mediated by altered composition of neural or other membranes or changes in eicosanoid metabolism.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)315-323
    Number of pages9
    JournalPhysiology and Behavior
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Feb 1990


    • Drinking
    • Excretion
    • Nutritional deficiency
    • Omega-3 fatty acids
    • Polydipsia
    • Rhesus monkeys
    • Water intake

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Behavioral Neuroscience


    Dive into the research topics of 'Polydipsia in rhesus monkeys deficient in omega-3 fatty acids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this