Incorporation of radioactive polyunsaturated fatty acids into liver and brain of developing rat

A. J. Sinclair

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The incorporation of radioactivity from orally administered linoleic acid-1-14C, linolenic acid-1-14C, arachidonic acid-3Hg, and docosahexaenoic acid-14C into the liver and brain lipids of suckling rats was studied. In both tissues, 22 hr after dosing, 2 distinct levels of incorporation were observed: a low uptake (from 18:2-1-14C and 18:3-1-14C) and a high uptake (from 20:4-3H8 and 22:6-14C). In adult rats, the incorporation of radioactivity into brain lipids from 18:2-1-14C and 20:4-3H was considerably lower than the incorporation into the brains of the young rats. In the livers of the suckling rats, the activity from the 18 carbon acids was associated mostly with the triglyceride fraction, whereas the activity from the 20:4-3H8 and 22:6-14C was concentrated in the phospholipid fraction. In the brain lipids, the activity from the different fatty acids was associated predominantly with the phospholipids. In the liver and brain phospholipid fatty acids, some of the activity in the 18:2-1-14C and 18:3-1-14C experiments was associated with 20 and 22 carbon polyunsaturated fatty acids; however, radioactivity from orally administered 20:4-3H8 and 22:6-14C was incorporated intact into the tissue phospholipid to a much greater extent compared with the incorporation of radioactivity into 20:4 and 22:6 in the experiments where 18:2-1-14C and 18:3-1-14C, respectively, were administered. Possible reasons for these differences are discussed. Rat milk contains a wide spectrum of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including linoleate, linolenate, arachidonate, and docosahexaenoate. During the suckling period in the rat, there is a rapid deposition of 20:4 and 22:6 in the brain. The results of the present experiments suggested that dietary 20:4 and 22:6 were important sources of brain 20:4 and 22:6 in the developing rat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1975
Externally publishedYes

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