Maternal dietary fat alters amniotic fluid and fetal intestinal membrane essential n-6 and n-3 fatty acids in the rat.Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2006 Mar; 290(3):G505-10.AJ
We investigated whether maternal fat intake alters amniotic fluid and fetal intestine phospholipid n-6 and n-3 fatty acids. Female rats were fed a 20% by weight diet from fat with 20% linoleic acid (LA; 18:2n-6) and 8% alpha-linolenic acid (ALA; 18:3n-3) (control diet, n = 8) or 72% LA and 0.2% ALA (n-3 deficient diet, n = 7) from 2 wk before and then throughout gestation. Amniotic fluid and fetal intestine phospholipid fatty acids were analyzed at day 19 gestation using HPLC and gas-liquid chromotography. Amniotic fluid had significantly lower docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) and higher docosapentaenoic acid (DPA; 22:5n-6) levels in the n-3-deficient group than in the control group (DHA: 1.29 +/- 0.10 and 6.29 +/- 0.33 g/100 g fatty acid; DPA: 4.01 +/- 0.35 and 0.73 +/- 0.15 g/100 g fatty acid, respectively); these differences in DHA and DPA were present in amniotic fluid cholesterol esters and phosphatidylcholine (PC). Fetal intestines in the n-3-deficient group had significantly higher LA, arachidonic acid (20:4n-6), and DPA levels; lower eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-3) and DHA levels in PC; and significantly higher DPA and lower EPA and DHA levels in phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) than in the control group; the n-6-to-n-3 fatty acid ratio was 4.9 +/- 0.2 and 32.2 +/- 2.1 in PC and 2.4 +/- 0.03 and 17.1 +/- 0.21 in PE in n-3-deficient and control group intestines, respectively. We demonstrate that maternal dietary fat influences amniotic fluid and fetal intestinal membrane structural lipid essential fatty acids. Maternal dietary fat can influence tissue composition by manipulation of amniotic fluid that is swallowed by the fetus or by transport across the placenta.