Differential accumulation and release of long-chain n-3 fatty acids from liver, muscle, and adipose tissue triacylglycerols.Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1997 Aug; 75(8):945-51.CJ
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) is less efficiently accumulated in tissue triacylglycerols (TAGs) during fish oil feeding than docosahexaneoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) or docosapentaenoic acid (DPA, 22:5n-3), and EPA is preferentially released from the TAG of isolated adipocytes in vitro and adipose tissue in vivo during fasting compared with DHA or DPA. It is not known if this preferential release occurs in vivo under nonfasting conditions or if it is limited to adipose tissue. Accordingly, we have carried out experiments to study the turnover of EPA, DHA, and DPA in the TAG of adipose tissue, liver, and skeletal muscle. Weanling rats were fed diets containing fish oil for 6 weeks and then switched to diets containing only corn oil as the dietary fat for 8 weeks. The fatty acid composition and mass in epididymal fat pads, omental fat, liver, and soleus muscle TAGs were determined weekly for the first 10 weeks and at weeks 12 and 14. Subsequent to the change to the corn oil diet, EPA (20:5n-3), DPA (22:5n-3), and DHA (22:6n-3), which had accumulated during fish oil feeding, were lost from the tissue TAG pools of each tissue examined. After 8 weeks on the corn oil diet, less than 10% of the accumulated EPA, DPA, and DHA remained in the liver and muscle. The loss of EPA, DPA, and DHA from epididymal fat pad was slower. In each tissue, EPA was lost more rapidly than DPA or DHA. This selective loss of EPA relative to DHA or DPA may explain the previously reported underrepresentation of EPA compared with DHA or DPA in tissue TAG.