Modification of milk formula to enhance accretion of long-chain n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in artificially reared infant rats.Lipids. 1998 May; 33(5):513-20.L
Artificially reared infant rats were used to determine the effects of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) supplementation on blood and tissue concentrations of arachidonic acid (AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Beginning at 7 d of age, infant rats were fed for 10 d with rat milk formulas supplemented with AA at 0, 0.5 and 1.0%, or supplemented with DHA at 0, 0.5 and 1.0% of total fatty acid. The supplementation of AA increased accretion of the fatty acid in tissue and blood phospholipids with a maximum increase of 9% in brain, 15% in liver, 25% in erythrocytes, and 43% in plasma above the values of unsupplemented infant rats. Rat milk formula containing 1.0% of AA had no added benefits over that containing 0.5% of AA. The supplementation of DHA increased phospholipid DHA by a maximum of 24% in brain, 87% in liver, 54% in erythrocytes, and 360% in plasma above the unsupplemented control. The increase in tissue and blood DHA was concentration-dependent on formula fatty acid. Brain phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine were similarly enriched with AA and DHA by supplementation of the corresponding fatty acids. In general the observed increase of AA was accompanied by a decrease in 16:0, 18:1 n-9, and/or 18:2n-6, whereas the increased DHA was associated with a reduction of 18:1n-9, 18:2n-6, and/or 20:4n-6. Clearly, infant rats were more responsive to DHA than AA supplementation, suggesting a great potential of dietary manipulation to alter tissue DHA concentrations. However, the supplementation of DHA significantly decreased tissue and blood AA/DHA ratios (wt%/wt%), whereas there was little or no change in the ratio by AA supplementation. Although the physiological implications of the levels of AA and DHA, and AA/DHA ratios achieved under the present experimental conditions are not readily known, the findings suggest that artificial rearing could provide a suitable model to investigate LCPUFA requirements using various sources of AA and DHA in rats.