Unique phospholipid metabolism in mouse heart in response to dietary docosahexaenoic or α-linolenic acids

S. M. Watkins, T. Y. Lin, R. M. Davis, J. R. Ching, E. J. DePeters, G. M. Halpern, R. L. Walzem, J. B. German

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Diet and fatty acid metabolism interact in yet unknown ways to modulate membrane fatty acid composition and certain cellular functions. For example, dietary precursors or metabolic products of n-3 fatty acid metabolism differ in their ability to modify specific membrane components. In the present study, the effect of dietary 22:6n-3 or its metabolic precursor, 18:3n-3, on the selective accumulation of 22:6n-3 by heart was investigated. The mass and fatty acid compositions of individual phospholipids (PL) in heart and liver were quantified in mice fed either 22:6n-3 (from crocodile oil) or 18:3n-3 (from soybean oil) for 13 wk. This study was conducted to determine if the selective accumulation of 22:6n-3 in heart was due to the incorporation of 22:6n-3 into cardiolipin (CL), a PL most prevalent in heart and known to accumulate 22:6n-3. Although heart was significantly enriched with 22:6n-3 relative to liver, the accumulation of 22:6n-3 by CL in heart could not quantitatively account for this difference. CL from heart did accumulate 22:6n-3, but only in mice fed preformed 22:6n-3. Diets rich in non-22:6n-3 fatty acids result in a fatty acid composition of phosphatidylcholine (PC) in heart that is unusually enriched with 22:6n-3. In this study, the mass of PC in heart was positively correlated with the enrichment of 22:6n-3 into PC. The increased mass of PC was coincident with a decrease in the mass of phosphatidylethanolamine, suggesting that 22:6n-3 induced PC synthesis by increasing phosphatidylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase activity in the heart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-254
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Food Science
  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Unique phospholipid metabolism in mouse heart in response to dietary docosahexaenoic or α-linolenic acids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this