Distinct roles of specific fatty acids in cellular processes: implications for interpreting and reporting experiments

Matthew J Watt, Andrew J Hoy, Deborah M Muoio, Rosalind A Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther

39 Citations (Scopus)


Plasma contains a variety of long-chain fatty acids (FAs), such that about 35 are saturated and 65 are unsaturated. There are countless examples that show how different FAs impart specific and unique effects, or even opposing actions, on cellular function. Despite these differing effects, palmitate (C16:0) is regularly used to represent FAs in cell based experiments. Although palmitate can be useful to induce and study stress effects in cultured cells, these effects in isolation are not physiologically relevant to dietary manipulations, obesity, or the consequences of physiological concentrations of FAs. Hence, authors should avoid conclusions that generalize about FAs or saturated FAs or high-fat diet effects if only a single FA was used in the reported experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1 - E3
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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