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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1978 Jan 27;528(1):17-27.

The role of holotrichs in the metabolism of dietary linoleic acid in the rumen.


The uptake and metabolism of linoleic acid by rumen holotrichs (mainly Isotricha prostoma and I. intestinalis) has been examined in in vitro infusion experiments. Maximum absorption and metabolism of [1-14C]linoleate by 2 . 10(6) Isotricha suspended in 100 ml buffer was obtained using an infusion rate of 1.6 mg linoleate/h. After 90 min, 84% of the added substrate was recovered within the cells, mainly as free fatty acid or phospholipid. There was a rapid incorporation of radioactivity into phospholipid, mainly phosphatidylcholine, at the commencement of linoleate infusion but no further incorporation after about 40 min. The presence of bacteria during incubations, in approximately the same Isotricha/bacteria ratio as found in the rumen, reduced the uptake of linoleate and the accumulation of free fatty acid by holotrichs but the incorporation into phospholipid remained similar to that obtained in the absence of bacteria. Very little biohydrogenation of linoleic acid occurred in incubations with holotrichs alone. Bacterial suspensions converted linoleic acid to mainly trans monoene and a small amount of stearic acid, but in incubations containing both bacteria and holotrichs, both stearic acid and trans monoene were major products. Using the latter mixed culture, about 20% of the added [1-14C]linoleic acid was present in holotrich phospholipid of which 62% remained as octadecadienoic acid. The Isotricha population was 3 . 10(3)--2 . 10(4)/ml rumen fluid and it contributed about 23% of the linoleic acid in the rumen of a cow on a hay diet.

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