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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1993 Jan 10;1165(3):291-8.

Effect of dietary alpha-linolenic acid on functional characteristic of Na+/K(+)-ATPase isoenzymes in whole brain membranes of weaned rats.

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INSERM U26 Hôpital Fernand Widal, Paris, France.


The influence of dietary fatty acids on Na+ sensitivity and ouabain affinity of Na+/K(+)-ATPase isoenzymes of whole brain membranes were studied in weaned rats fed for two generations with diets either devoid of alpha-linolenic acid (sunflower oil diet) or rich in alpha-linolenic acid (soya oil diet). The (n--3) deficiency induced by the sunflower oil diet led to an increase in the (n--6)/(n--3) molar ratio in whole brain membranes. Na+/K(+)-ATPase isoenzymes were discriminated on the basis of their differential affinities for ouabain. In rats fed sunflower oil diet, the ouabain titration displayed three inhibitory processes with markedly different affinities: low affinity (alpha 1); high affinity (alpha 2); and very high affinity (alpha 3). Membranes of rats fed soya oil diet exhibited only two inhibitory processes, i.e., low affinity (likely alpha 1+ alpha 2) and high affinity (likely alpha 2+ alpha 3) with the low affinity form intermediate between the sunflower alpha 1 and alpha 2 forms, and the high affinity form intermediate between the sunflower alpha 2 and alpha 3 forms. In fact, the Na+ response shows that the three isoenzymes have different Na+ sensitivities. Regardless of the diet, alpha 1 has a similar Na+ sensitivity (less than 1 mM), whilst alpha 2 and alpha 3 are more sensitive in soya oil membranes compared to sunflower oil membranes (5.1 vs. 7.2 mM and about 11 vs. 22.5 mM, respectively). Thus, sodium appears to be a better criterion of heterogeneity than ouabain.

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