Changes in susceptibility of tissues to lipid peroxidation after ingestion of various levels of docosahexaenoic acid and vitamin E.
The relationship between lipid peroxidation and phospholipase A2 (PLA2) hydrolytic activity was studied using unilamellar vesicles (liposomes) as model membranes. Hydrolytic specificity was examined using vesicles prepared with pure bovine heart phosphatidylcholine (PC), bovine heart phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), or mixtures of these phospholipids, using two preparative procedures, i.e., sonication or extrusion. Lipid peroxidation was induced by incubating vesicles with cumene hydroperoxide and hematin at 37 degrees C. Determinations of the extent of peroxidation by means of diene conjugate content derived from second derivative spectra or by polarographic measurement of oxygen consumption rates provided a basis for comparing the extent of peroxidation of each phospholipid species to their subsequent hydrolysis by PLA2 (from Crotalus adamanteus). The extent of hydrolysis was determined through the release of arachidonic acid from either PC or PE. The PE distribution among the outer vs. inner leaflet of the membrane bilayer was nearly equal in sonicated vesicles, whereas most of the phospholipid was incorporated into the inner leaflet in extruded vesicles. The proportion of PE found in the inner leaflet progressively increased as the ratio of PE to PC increased in both sonicated and extruded vesicle preparations. Lipid peroxidation had no effect on PE distribution under the conditions examined. There was a clear preference for PC peroxidation for all vesicle compositions tested and PC was preferentially hydrolyzed by PLA2. This effect is proposed to result from a perturbation of membrane structure following peroxidation with assimilation of PC into PLA2-susceptible domains whereas PE peroxidation and hydrolysis is less affected in mixed PC/PE vesicles. Lipid peroxidation imposes an additional hydrolytic susceptibility over the effects exerted through the mixing of these phospholipids which is based on structural changes rather than formation of specific substrates for PLA2.