Effect of saturated and unsaturated fat diets on molecular species of phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin of human plasma lipoproteins

J. J. Myher, A. Kuksis, J. Shepherd, C. J. Packard, J. D. Morrisett, O. D. Taunton, A. M. Gotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Four healthy 21-23-year-old males with normal lipoprotein patterns and plasma lipid concentrations were subjected voluntarily to two diets of 5 weeks duration each: I, highly saturated fat diet; II, highly polyunsaturated fat diet. The VLDL, LDL and HDL3 fractions were isolated by conventional ultracentrifugation from each subject on the high fat diets and the molecular species of the component phosphatidylcholines and sphingomyelins were identified and quantitated by GC-MS of the t-butyldimethylsilyl ethers of the corresponding diacylglycerols and ceramides. It was shown that the diet markedly and rather evenly affected the molecular species of the phosphatidylcholines of all lipoprotein classes. However, the changes in the corresponding major molecular species were reciprocal in nature and were consistent with a demonstrated relative resistance to alterations in surface fluidity. In contrast, the dietary fat had only a minor effect on the composition of the sphingomyelins, and did not alter the characteristic differential distribution of the molecular species among the low and high density lipoprotein classes. These results, which were free of the uncertainties introduced by analyses of derived fatty acid and which were obtained on samples isolated from the same subjects, clearly demonstrate that a complete equilibration of the molecular species of the phospholipids is not attained among the plasma lipoprotein classes even in the fasting state. The possible physico-chemical and metabolic basis of these observations is briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-119
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)/Lipids and Lipid Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 23 1981


  • (Human plasma)
  • Dietary fat
  • Lipoprotein
  • Phosphatidylcholine
  • Sphingomyelin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)


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