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Lipids. 2005 Mar;40(3):295-301.

Vaccenic acid metabolism in the liver of rat and bovine.

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Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Research Unit on Herbivores, Nutrients and Metabolisms Group, 63122 Saint Genès-Champanelle, France.


Hepatic metabolism of vaccenic acid (VA), especially its conversion into CLA, was studied in the bovine (ruminant species that synthesizes CLA) and in the rat (model for non-ruminant) by using the in vitro technique of liver explants. Liver tissue samples were collected from fed animals (5 male Wistar rats and 5 Charolais steers) and incubated at 37 degrees C for 17 h under an atmosphere of 95% O2/5% CO2 in medium supplemented with 0.75 mM of FA mixture and with 55 microM [1-14C]VA. VA uptake was about sixfold lower in bovine than in rat liver slices (P< 0.01). For both species, VA that was oxidized to partial oxidation products represented about 20% of VA incorporated by cells. The chemical structure of VA was not modified in bovine liver cells, whereas in rat liver cells, 3.2% of VA was converted into 16:0 and only 0.33% into CLA. The extent of esterification of VA was similar for both animal species (70-80% of incorporated VA). Secretion of VA as part of VLDL particles was very low and similar in rat and bovine liver (around 0.07% of incorporated VA). In conclusion, characteristics of the hepatic metabolism of VA were similar for rat and bovine animals, the liver not being involved in tissue VA conversion into CLA in spite of its high capacity for FA desaturation especially in the rat. This indicates that endogenous synthesis of CLA should take place exclusively in peripheral tissues.

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