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Lipids. 1998 Aug;33(8):787-93.

Remodeling of phospholipid fatty acids in mitochondrial membranes of estivating snails.

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Department of Zoology, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


The effects of estivation on the phospholipid-specific fatty acid composition of mitochondrial membranes in the hepatopancreas of the terrestrial snail Cepaea nemoralis were investigated. The fatty acid composition of all phospholipids was significantly altered in snails estivating for 6 wk, indicating that substantial remodeling occurs. The most profound changes occurred in cardiolipin (CL). CL of estivating snails was 13-fold more saturated, contained 9-fold more monoenes, and had 45% fewer polyenes than in active snails. These differences were due, in part, to a reduction in linoleic acid (1 8:2n-6) content of CL from estivators. As in mammals, CL of active snails appears to preferentially incorporate 18:2n-6, which accounts for 60% of the acyl chains in this phospholipid. This proportion was reduced by 50% in estivators. Changes in the fatty acyl content of other phospholipids of estivating snails included increased monoenes in phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylinositol, reduced ratios of n-3/n-6 polyenes in PE and phosphatidylcholine (PC), and an increased n-3/n-6 ratio in phosphatidylserine (PS). Arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) levels were reduced in PS but increased in CL and PC. Taken together, these alterations to fatty acid composition are consistent with decreased biological activity of membrane-related processes which occur in conjunction with the reduction of mitochondrial aerobic metabolism observed during estivation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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