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Eur J Nutr. 2018 Dec;57(8):2963-2974. doi: 10.1007/s00394-017-1570-4. Epub 2017 Nov 10.

Maternal adipose tissue becomes a source of fatty acids for the fetus in fasted pregnant rats given diets with different fatty acid compositions.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad San Pablo-CEU, Ctra. Boadilla del Monte km 5.3, Boadilla del Monte, 28668, Madrid, Spain.
2
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad San Pablo-CEU, Ctra. Boadilla del Monte km 5.3, Boadilla del Monte, 28668, Madrid, Spain. eherrera@ceu.es.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The utilization of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) by the fetus may exceed its capacity to synthesize them from essential fatty acids, so they have to come from the mother. Since adipose tissue lipolytic activity is greatly accelerated under fasting conditions during late pregnancy, the aim was to determine how 24 h fasting in late pregnant rats given diets with different fatty acid compositions affects maternal and fetal tissue fatty acid profiles.

METHODS:

Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were given isoenergetic diets containing 10% palm-, sunflower-, olive- or fish-oil. Half the rats were fasted from day 19 of pregnancy and all were studied on day 20. Triacylglycerols (TAG), glycerol and non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) were analyzed by enzymatic methods and fatty acid profiles were analyzed by gas chromatography.

RESULTS:

Fasting caused increments in maternal plasma NEFA, glycerol and TAG, indicating increased adipose tissue lipolytic activity. Maternal adipose fatty acid profiles paralleled the respective diets and, with the exception of animals on the olive oil diet, maternal fasting increased the plasma concentration of most fatty acids. This maintains the availability of LCPUFA to the fetus during brain development.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results show the major role played by maternal adipose tissue in the storage of dietary fatty acids during pregnancy, thus ensuring adequate availability of LCPUFA to the fetus during late pregnancy, even when food supply is restricted.

KEYWORDS:

Adipose tissue lipolysis; Dietary fatty acids; Fatty acids in fetal brain; Maternal–fetal fatty acid transfer; Polyunsaturated fatty acids

PMID:
29127477
DOI:
10.1007/s00394-017-1570-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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