Effect of nutritional status on the fatty acid composition of rat liver and cultured hepatocytes


The lipid concentration and fatty acid composition of the whole liver and of cultured hepatocytes isolated from the livers of rats fed ad libitum (fed), fasted for 24 hr (fasted), or fasted for 48 hr and then refed a fat-free, high carbohydrate diet for 48 hr (refed) was studied. Hepatocytes were maintained as monolayer cultures in serum-free, lipid-free media and their fatty acid composition was analyzed at 3, 24, 48, 72 and 96 hr. The livers of fed animals, as well as their hepatocytes, contained less total lipid than those from animals on either of the other dietary regimes. Livers of fasted animals had three times the amount of lipid found in the livers of fed animals, and the livers of refed animals contained five times the amount of lipid as the livers of fed animals (all based on mg lipid/g wet weight of liver). The fatty acid composition of hepatocytes after 3 hr of culturing was very similar to that of fresh liver when compared in each of the dietary regimes. However, while the fatty acid compositions of livers and hepatocytes from fed and fasted animals were similar, the pattern in liver of refed animals was quite distinct from that of the fed animals. In the fed and fasted animals palmitic acid (16∶0), stearic acid (18∶0), oleic acid (18∶1[n-9]), linoleic acid (18∶2[n-6]) and arachidonic acid (20∶4[n-6]) were the major fatty acids of the liver; in refed animals 16∶0, palmitoleic acid (16∶1[n-7]), 18∶0, 18∶1(n-9) andcis-vaccenic acid (the n-7 isomer of oleic acid) were the major fatty acids. During maintenance in culture the 18∶1(n-9) content of the hepatocytes increased in cells from livers of animals on all three dietary regimes. The polyunsaturated fatty acid content was similar in fresh livers and isolated hepatocytes in all samples when compared on the basis of μg fatty acid/mg of hepatocyte or liver protein. It was also found that the polyunsaturated fatty acid content of hepatocytes was remarkedly stable with time of culture when the cells were incubated in serum-free, lipid-free medium. Thus, isolated hepatocytes maintained in serum-free medium appear to be a possible system for the evaluation of the effects of prior nutritional status on fatty acid metabolism in the whole animal, not subject to hormonal and other somatic influences which often complicate the interpretation of such nutritional studies.

DOI: 10.1007/BF02536403

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@article{Nelson1986EffectON, title={Effect of nutritional status on the fatty acid composition of rat liver and cultured hepatocytes}, author={Gary J. Nelson and Darshan S. Kelley and James E. Hunt}, journal={Lipids}, year={1986}, volume={21}, pages={454-459} }