Metabolism of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and modification of phospholipids in cultured rabbit aortic smooth muscle cells.J Lipid Res. 1985 Aug; 26(8):930-9.JL
The metabolism of the linolenic acid family (n-3) of fatty acids, e.g., linolenic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic acids, in cultured smooth muscle cells from rabbit aorta was compared to the metabolism of linoleic and arachidonic acids. There was a time-dependent uptake of these fatty acids into cells for 16 hr (arachidonic greater than docosahexaenoic, linoleic, eicosapentaenoic greater than linolenic), and the acids were incorporated mainly into phospholipids and triglycerides. Eicosapentaenoic and arachidonic acids were incorporated more into phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylinositol plus phosphatidylserine and less into phosphatidylcholine than linolenic and linoleic acids. Docosahexaenoic acid was incorporated into phosphatidylethanolamine more than linolenic and linoleic acids and into phosphatidylinositol plus phosphatidylserine less than eicosapentaenoic and arachidonic acids. Added linolenic acid accumulated mainly in phosphatidylcholine and did not decrease the arachidonic acid content of any phospholipid subfraction. Elongation-desaturation metabolites of linoleic acid did not accumulate. Cells treated with eicosapentaenoic acid accumulated both eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids mainly in phosphatidylethanolamine and the arachidonic acid content was decreased. Added docosahexaenoic acid accumulated mainly in phosphatidylethanolamine and decreased the content of both arachidonic and oleic acids. The following conclusions are drawn from these results. The three n-3 fatty acids are utilized differently in phospholipids. The arachidonic acid content of phospholipids is reduced by eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, but not by linolenic acid. Smooth muscle cells have little or no desaturase activity, but have significant elongation activity for polyunsaturated fatty acids.