Differential effects of eicosapentaenoic acid and oleic acid on lipid synthesis and secretion by HepG2 cells

R. Homan, J. E. Grossman, H. J. Pownall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effects of eicosapentaenoic acid and oleic acid on lipid synthesis and secretion by HepG2 cells were examined to identify fatty acid specific changes in lipid metabolism that might indicate a basis for the hypolipidemic effect attributed to eicosapentaenoic acid and related n-3 fatty acids. Cellular glycerolipid synthesis, as determined by [3H]glycerol incorporation, increased in a concentration-dependent manner in cells incubated 4 h with either eicosapentaenoic acid or oleic acid at concentrations between 10 and 300 μM. [3H]Glycerol-labeled triglyceride was the principal lipid formed and increased approximately fourfold with the addition of 300 μM oleic acid or eicosapentaenoic acid. Both fatty acids also produced a 20-40% increase in the total cellular triglyceride mass. Although both fatty acids increased triglyceride synthesis to similar extents, eicosapentaenoic acid-treated cells secreted 40% less [3H]glycerol-labeled triglyceride than cells fed oleic acid. Cellular synthesis of [3H]glycerol-labeled phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylcholine was also reduced by 40% and 30%, respectively, in cells given eicosapentaenoic acid versus cells given oleic acid. Similar results were obtained in determination of radiolabeled oleic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid incorporation. At a fatty acid concentration of 300 μM, incorporation of radiolabeled eicosapentaenoic acid into cellular triglycerides was greater than the incorporation obtained with radiolabeled oleic acid, while the reverse relationship was observed for the formation of phosphatidylcholine from the same fatty acids. Eicosapentaenoic acid is as potent as oleic acid in inducing triglyceride synthesis but eicosapentaenoic acid is a poorer substrate than oleic acid for phospholipid synthesis. The intracellular rise in de novo-synthesized triglyceride in eicosapentaenoic acid-treated cells without corresponding increases in triglyceride secretion suggests that eicosapentaenoic acid is less effective than oleic acid in promoting the transfer of de novo-synthesized triglyceride to nascent very low density lipoproteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-241
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of lipid research
Volume32
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991

Keywords

  • phosphatidylcholine
  • phospholipid
  • triglyceride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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