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J Nutr. 1993 Dec;123(12):2174-85.

Dietary arachidonate enhances tissue arachidonate levels and eicosanoid production in Syrian hamsters.

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Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996.


Eicosanoids are oxidative derivatives of arachidonic acid. When produced in excess many of them are proinflammatory agents. This study investigates whether dietary arachidonic acid enhances arachidonic acid phospholipid content of various tissues and whether this enrichment increases eicosanoid production. Male Syrian hamsters were divided into four groups and fed diets supplemented with ethyl esters of oleic acid, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid or eicosapentaenoic acid. Differences in the composition of the phospholipid fatty acids were monitored in liver, lung, heart, spleen, kidney, testes, macrophages and platelets. In all tissues analyzed, the phospholipid content of arachidonic acid was significantly higher in the arachidonic dietary group compared with all other dietary groups (average > 50% higher). In contrast, increasing dietary linoleic acid by 50% had little effect on altering tissue arachidonic acid levels. Following in vitro stimulation, macrophages and platelets from animals maintained on arachidonic acid produced, in general, the highest levels of eicosanoids compared with cells from animals fed the other diets. Significant differences were observed in prostaglandin E2 (macrophages) and thromboxane B2 (platelets) formation when compared with the oleic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid dietary groups. The data demonstrate that including low to moderate levels of arachidonic acid in the diet increases macrophage and platelet arachidonic acid levels and may augment eicosanoid production.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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