Logo of annrheumdAnnals of the Rheumatic DiseasesVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Ann Rheum Dis. Nov 1990; 49(11): 901–905.
PMCID: PMC1004259

Correlation of fatty acid composition of adipose tissue lipids and serum phosphatidylcholine and serum concentrations of micronutrients with disease duration in rheumatoid arthritis.


To establish the concentrations of micronutrients in serum, fatty acid composition in serum phosphatidylcholine and in adipose tissue, and their correlation with inflammation and disease duration in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 21 consecutive patients with recently diagnosed disease (mean duration eight months), 21 patients with longstanding disease (mean duration 15 years), and 57 controls were examined. In the patients with RA low concentrations of the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (18:2) and linolenic (18:3) acid, and high concentrations of total saturated fatty acids, both in serum phosphatidylcholine and in adipose tissue, were found, abnormalities that increased with disease duration. The proportion of 18:2 in serum phosphatidylcholine correlated inversely with such acute phase proteins as orosomucoid and C reactive protein. It is proposed that the decreases in essential fatty acids are related to increased activity in the desaturase/elongation enzymes, increased production of eicosanoids, or metabolic changes secondary to cytokine mediated inflammatory reaction. When the micronutrients were studied it was found that serum concentrations of selenium were lower in patients than in controls, but not those of ascorbic acid, alpha-tocopherol, retinol, folic acid, or cobalamine. Ascorbic acid concentrations tended to be lower in RA, however, and correlated inversely with those of haptoglobin, orosomucoid, and C reactive protein, indicating a relation between the ascorbic acid concentration and the degree of inflammation.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1000K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Wood DA, Riemersma RA, Butler S, Thomson M, Macintyre C, Elton RA, Oliver MF. Linoleic and eicosapentaenoic acids in adipose tissue and platelets and risk of coronary heart disease. Lancet. 1987 Jan 24;1(8526):177–183. [PubMed]
  • Vannoni D, Ciccoli L, Leoncini R, Marcolongo R, Marinello E. Fatty acid composition of plasma lipids in gout. Biomed Pharmacother. 1986;40(9):348–351. [PubMed]
  • Horrobin DF. Essential fatty acid metabolism in diseases of connective tissue with special reference to scleroderma and to Sjogren's syndrome. Med Hypotheses. 1984 Jul;14(3):233–247. [PubMed]
  • Sturge RA, Yates DB, Gordon D, Franco M, Paul W, Bray A, Morley J. Prostaglandin production in arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 1978 Aug;37(4):315–320. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Canonico PG, Rill W, Ayala E. Effects of inflammation on peroxisomal enzyme activities, catalase synthesis, and lipid metabolism. Lab Invest. 1977 Nov;37(5):479–486. [PubMed]
  • Kremer JM, Jubiz W, Michalek A, Rynes RI, Bartholomew LE, Bigaouette J, Timchalk M, Beeler D, Lininger L. Fish-oil fatty acid supplementation in active rheumatoid arthritis. A double-blinded, controlled, crossover study. Ann Intern Med. 1987 Apr;106(4):497–503. [PubMed]
  • Dayton S, Hashimoto S, Dixon W, Pearce ML. Composition of lipids in human serum and adipose tissue during prolonged feeding of a diet high in unsaturated fat. J Lipid Res. 1966 Jan;7(1):103–111. [PubMed]
  • van Staveren WA, Deurenberg P, Katan MB, Burema J, de Groot LC, Hoffmans MD. Validity of the fatty acid composition of subcutaneous fat tissue microbiopsies as an estimate of the long-term average fatty acid composition of the diet of separate individuals. Am J Epidemiol. 1986 Mar;123(3):455–463. [PubMed]
  • Field CJ, Angel A, Clandinin MT. Relationship of diet to the fatty acid composition of human adipose tissue structural and stored lipids. Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 Dec;42(6):1206–1220. [PubMed]
  • DIAGNOSTIC criteria for rheumatoid arthritis: 1958 revision by a committee of the American Rheumatism Association. Ann Rheum Dis. 1959 Mar;18(1):49–53. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Beynen AC, Katan MB. Rapid sampling and long-term storage of subcutaneous adipose-tissue biopsies for determination of fatty acid composition. Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 Aug;42(2):317–322. [PubMed]
  • Borglund M, Akesson A, Akesson B. Distribution of selenium and glutathione peroxidase in plasma compared in healthy subjects and rheumatoid arthritis patients. Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 1988 Feb;48(1):27–32. [PubMed]
  • De Leenheer AP, De Bevere VO, De Ruyter MG, Claeys AE. Simultaneous determination of retinol and alpha-tocopherol in human serum by high-performance liquid chromatography. J Chromatogr. 1979 Mar 1;162(3):408–413. [PubMed]
  • Okamura M. An improved method for determination of L-ascorbic acid and L-dehydroascorbic acid in blood plasma. Clin Chim Acta. 1980 May 9;103(3):259–268. [PubMed]
  • Bruderlein H, Daniel R, Boismenu D, Julien N, Couture F. Fatty acid profiles of serum phospholipids in patients suffering rheumatoid arthritis. Prog Lipid Res. 1981;20:625–631. [PubMed]
  • Bigaouette J, Timchalk MA, Kremer J. Nutritional adequacy of diet and supplements in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who take medications. J Am Diet Assoc. 1987 Dec;87(12):1687–1688. [PubMed]
  • Hagenfeldt L, Wennmalm A. Turnover of a prostaglandin precursor, arachidonic acid, in rheumatoid arthritis. Eur J Clin Invest. 1975 Jun 12;5(3):235–239. [PubMed]
  • Brenner RR. Nutritional and hormonal factors influencing desaturation of essential fatty acids. Prog Lipid Res. 1981;20:41–47. [PubMed]
  • Svenson KL, Lundqvist G, Wide L, Hällgren R. Impaired glucose handling in active rheumatoid arthritis: effects of corticosteroids and antirheumatic treatment. Metabolism. 1987 Oct;36(10):944–948. [PubMed]
  • Wood DD, Ihrie EJ, Dinarello CA, Cohen PL. Isolation of an interleukin-1-like factor from human joint effusions. Arthritis Rheum. 1983 Aug;26(8):975–983. [PubMed]
  • Patton JS, Shepard HM, Wilking H, Lewis G, Aggarwal BB, Eessalu TE, Gavin LA, Grunfeld C. Interferons and tumor necrosis factors have similar catabolic effects on 3T3 L1 cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986 Nov;83(21):8313–8317. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ziff M. Diet in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 1983 Apr;26(4):457–461. [PubMed]
  • Thomas IK, Erickson KL. Dietary fatty acid modulation of murine T-cell responses in vivo. J Nutr. 1985 Nov;115(11):1528–1534. [PubMed]
  • Prior P, Symmons DP, Scott DL, Brown R, Hawkins CF. Cause of death in rheumatoid arthritis. Br J Rheumatol. 1984 May;23(2):92–99. [PubMed]
  • Aaseth J, Munthe E, Førre O, Steinnes E. Trace elements in serum and urine of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Scand J Rheumatol. 1978;7(4):237–240. [PubMed]
  • Tarp U, Overvad K, Hansen JC, Thorling EB. Low selenium level in severe rheumatoid arthritis. Scand J Rheumatol. 1985;14(2):97–101. [PubMed]
  • Sahud MA, Cohen RJ. Effect of aspirin ingestion on ascorbic-acid levels in rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet. 1971 May 8;1(7706):937–938. [PubMed]
  • Mézes M, Bartosiewicz G, Németh J. Comparative investigations on vitamin A level of plasma in some rheumatic diseases. Clin Rheumatol. 1986 Jun;5(2):221–224. [PubMed]
  • Mezes M, Bartosiewicz G. Investigations on vitamin E and lipid peroxide status in rheumatic diseases. Clin Rheumatol. 1983 Sep;2(3):259–263. [PubMed]
  • Rowley DA, Halliwell B. Formation of hydroxyl radicals from hydrogen peroxide and iron salts by superoxide- and ascorbate-dependent mechanisms: relevance to the pathology of rheumatoid disease. Clin Sci (Lond) 1983 Jun;64(6):649–653. [PubMed]
  • Johansson U, Akesson B. Interaction between ascorbic acid and acetylsalicylic acid and their effects on nutritional status in man. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1985;55(2):197–204. [PubMed]

Articles from Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Compound
    PubChem Compound links
  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...