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Atherosclerosis. 2008 Oct;200(2):294-302. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2007.12.040. Epub 2008 Feb 15.

Conjugated linoleic acid isomers have no effect on atherosclerosis and adverse effects on lipoprotein and liver lipid metabolism in apoE-/- mice fed a high-cholesterol diet.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Dietary supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been shown, in several animal models, to decrease the development of atherosclerosis. The mechanism behind the anti-atherogenic properties of CLA is not clear. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of CLA on atherosclerosis, lipoprotein and liver lipid metabolism, and plasma adiponectin and insulin in apoE(-/-) mice fed an atherogenic (16%, w/w fat; 1.25%, w/w cholesterol) diet. Mice were fed the diet with or without supplementation of linoleic acid (LA), c-9,t-11 CLA, t-10,c-12 CLA, or a 1:1 mixture of the two CLA isomers, at a concentration of 0.5% (w/w), for 12 weeks. Relative to the LA group, CLA supplementation had no significant effect on the lesion area in either en face preparations of the aorta or in aortic root cross-sections. Plasma triacylglycerol and cholesterol concentrations were higher in the t-10,c-12 CLA group than all other treatment groups and liver weight was also increased in this group due to a three-fold increase in liver triacylglycerol. Supplementation with t-10,c-12 CLA or mixed CLA reduced plasma adiponectin levels, whereas t-10,c-12 CLA increased plasma insulin levels. Liver triglycerides correlated directly with blood glucose and plasma insulin and inversely with plasma adiponectin. We conclude that dietary supplementation with CLA does not affect atherosclerosis of the apoE(-/-) mouse on a high-cholesterol diet. Furthermore, t-10,c-12 CLA causes adverse changes in adipocyte function and plasma and liver lipid metabolism, which are partially ameliorated by the inclusion of the c-9,t-11 CLA isomer.

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