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1.  Splanchnic metabolism of free fatty acids and production of triglycerides of very low density lipoproteins in normotriglyceridemic and hypertriglyceridemic humans 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1970;49(11):2017-2035.
Transport of free fatty acids from the blood into the splanchnic region and their conversion to triglycerides of very low density lipoproteins, together with estimates of splanchnic oxidation of free fatty acids to ketones and to carbon dioxide and water, have been made in the postabsorptive state in seven normolipemic subjects, six with primary endogenous hyperlipemia and one each with primary dysbetalipoproteinemia and mixed hyperlipemia. Net systemic transport of free fatty acids into the blood was the same in normolipemic and hyperlipemic groups, but a greater fraction was taken up in the splanchnic region in the latter. Transport into the blood in very low density lipoproteins of triglyceride fatty acids derived from free fatty acids was proportional and bore the same relationship to splanchnic uptake of free fatty acids in the two groups. In normolipemic subjects, near equilibration of specific activities after 4 hr infusion of palmitate-1-14C showed that almost all triglyceride fatty acids of very low density lipoproteins and acetoacetate were derived from free fatty acids taken up in the splanchnic region. In the hyperlipemic subjects, equilibration of free fatty acidcarbon with acetoacetate was almost complete, but not with triglyceride fatty acids, owing at least in part to increased pool size. Comparison of the rate of equilibration of triglyceride fatty acids-14C with rate of inflow transport from the splanchnic region, together with other data, indicated that most of the circulating triglyceride fatty acids of very low density lipoproteins in hyperlipemic subjects were also derived from free fatty acids. Although mean inflow transport of triglyceride fatty acids was greater in the hyperlipemic subjects, it correlated poorly with their concentration and it appeared that efficiency of mechanisms for extrahepatic removal must be a major determinant of the concentration of triglycerides in blood plasma of the normolipemic as well as the hyperlipemic subjects. Estimates of splanchnic respiratory quotient supported the concept that oxidation of free fatty acids accounts for almost all of splanchnic oxygen consumption in the postabsorptive state. Splanchnic oxygen consumption was greater in the hyperlipemics, but fractional oxidation of free fatty acids to ketones was higher in normolipemic subjects. Calculations of splanchnic balance indicate that a larger fraction of free fatty acids was stored in lipids of splanchnic tissues in the hyperlipemics. No differences were found between the two groups in net splanchnic transport of glucose, lactate, or glycerol.
PMCID: PMC535780  PMID: 5475985
2.  Regulatory effects of the saturated fatty acids 6:0 through 18:0 on hepatic low density lipoprotein receptor activity in the hamster. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1992;89(4):1133-1141.
The plasma concentration of cholesterol carried in low density lipoproteins is principally determined by the level of LDL receptor activity (Jm) and the LDL-cholesterol production rate (Jt) found in animals or man. This study delineates which saturated fatty acids alter Jm and Jt and so increase the plasma LDL-cholesterol level. Jm and Jt were measured in vivo in hamsters fed a constant level of added dietary cholesterol (0.12%) and triacylglycerol (10%), where the triacylglycerol contained only a single saturated fatty acid varying in chain length from 6 to 18 carbon atoms. After feeding for 30 d, the 12:0, 14:0, 16:0, and 18:0 fatty acids, but not the 6:0, 8:0, and 10:0 compounds, became significantly enriched in the liver total lipid fraction of the respective groups fed these fatty acids. However, only the 12:0, 14:0, and 16:0 fatty acids, but not the 6:0, 8:0, 10:0, and 18:0 compounds, suppressed Jm, increased Jt, and essentially doubled plasma LDL-cholesterol concentrations. Neither the 16:0 nor 18:0 compound altered rates of cholesterol synthesis in the extrahepatic organs, and both lowered the hepatic total cholesterol pool. Thus, the different effects of the 16:0 and 18:0 fatty acids could not be attributed to a difference in cholesterol delivery to the liver. Since these changes in LDL kinetics took place without an apparent alteration in external sterol balance, the regulatory effects of the 12:0, 14:0, and 16:0 fatty acids presumably are mediated through some change in a putative intrahepatic regulatory pool of sterol in the liver.
PMCID: PMC442970  PMID: 1556178
3.  Multiple disturbances of free fatty acid metabolism in noninsulin-dependent diabetes. Effect of oral hypoglycemic therapy. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1985;76(2):637-644.
To assess the mechanisms for the elevation of free fatty acids in noninsulin-dependent diabetes, free fatty acid metabolism and lipid and carbohydrate oxidation were compared in 14 obese diabetic Pima Indians and in 13 age-, sex-, and weight-matched nondiabetics. The studies were repeated in 10 of the diabetics after 1 mo of oral hypoglycemic therapy. Fasting plasma glucose concentrations were elevated in diabetics (242 +/- 14 vs. 97 +/- 3 mg/dl, P less than 0.01) and decreased to 142 +/- 12 (P less than 0.01) after therapy. Fasting free fatty acid concentrations were elevated in diabetics (477 +/- 26 vs. 390 +/- 39 mumol/liter, P less than 0.01) and declined to normal values after therapy (336 +/- 32, P less than 0.01). Although free fatty acid transport rate was correlated with obesity (r = 0.75, P less than 0.001), the transport of free fatty acid was not higher in diabetics than in nondiabetics and did not change after therapy. On the other hand, the fractional catabolic rate for free fatty acid was significantly lower in untreated diabetics (0.55 +/- 0.04 vs. 0.71 +/- 0.06 min-1, P less than 0.05); it increased after therapy to 0.80 +/- 0.09 min-1, P less than 0.05, and was inversely correlated with fasting glucose (r = -0.52, P less than 0.01). In diabetics after therapy, lipid oxidation rates fell significantly (from 1.35 +/- 0.06 to 1.05 +/- 0.01 mg/min per kg fat-free mass, P less than 0.01), whereas carbohydrate oxidation increased (from 1.21 +/- 0.10 to 1.73 +/- 0.13 mg/min per kg fat-free mass, P less than 0.01); changes in lipid and carbohydrate oxidation were correlated (r = 0.72, P less than 0.02), and in all subjects lipid oxidation accounted for only approximately 40% of free fatty acid transport. The data suggest that in noninsulin-dependent diabetics, although free fatty acid production may be elevated because of obesity, the elevations in plasma free fatty acid concentrations are also a result of reduced removal, and fractional clearance of free fatty acid appears to be closely related to diabetic control. Furthermore, the increase in fractional clearance rate, despite a marked decrease in lipid oxidation, suggests that the clearance defect in the diabetics is due to an impairment in reesterification, which is restored after therapy.
PMCID: PMC423870  PMID: 3897287
4.  Lipid Transport in the Human Newborn 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1982;70(2):262-270.
Free fatty acid (FFA) transport was measured in 11 and glycerol turnover in 5 newborns with continuous tracer infusion of [1-13C]palmitate or [2-13C]glycerol, respectively. In addition, simultaneous determination of glucose production in the latter group with [6,6-2H2]glucose tracer and measurement of the appearance rate of [13C]glucose derived from [13C]glycerol allowed calculation of gluconeogenesis from glycerol.
The average FFA inflow rate was 11.5±1.7 μmol kg−1min−1, 2.5-4.5 h after the last feeding, and 16.7±2.8 μmol kg−1min−1, 5-12 h after the last meal. These rates are comparable to those found in adults only after 8-16 h and ∼72 h of fasting, respectively. FFA inflow in the newborn was directly correlated with time of fasting, plasma FFA level, and plasma glycerol level. Palmitate clearance and fractional removal were inversely related to palmitate level.
Glycerol flux averaged 4.4±0.5 μmol kg−1min−1, a value three- to fourfold that of the postabsorptive adult. Approximately 75% of transported glycerol was converted to glucose and represented 5.0±0.6% of hepatic glucose production. Furthermore, there was a direct relationship between glycerol turnover and the fraction of glucose coming from glycerol.
Despite the absolutely elevated neonatal FFA and glycerol transport rates, these were quantitatively similar to values found in adults with comparable elevated substrate levels. Furthermore, other similarities with the adult in the relationships between inflow transport and substrate values, and between transport and fractional removal suggest that the regulatory aspects of lipid transport in man are already well developed by the first day of life.
PMCID: PMC371232  PMID: 7096567
5.  Effect of dl-ethionine on the intestinal absorption and transport of palmitic acid-1-14C and tripalmitin-14C. Role of intramucosal factors in the uptake of luminal lipids 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1969;48(8):1397-1407.
The effect of DL-ethionine on the uptake and transport of lipid by the rat small intestine was investigated. A cottonseed oil emulsion containing 14C-labeled tripalmitin or palmitic acid was administered intragastrically to rats pretreated with DL-ethionine, DL-ethionine plus methionine, or saline, and the rats were sacrificed 2, 4, and 6 hr later. Lipids from the plasma, the stomach, the colon, the luminal contents of the small intestine, and the wall of the small intestine were extracted, fractionated, and their radioactivity assayed.
Ethionine markedly inhibited the uptake of lipids by the small intestine. This inhibition was not related to impairment of intraluminal lipolysis since analagous inhibitions were observed when palmitic acid or predigested triglyceride (TG), obtained through a jejunal fistula from normal animals, was administered instead of tripalmitin. Ethionine also inhibited the transport of lipid from the wall of the small intestine. A significant fraction of the administered lipid remained in the wall of the small intestine, and only a small fraction was transported to the blood stream. Although most of the wall radioactivity was in the form of TG, significant proportions were also found in the free fatty acid (FFA) and partial glyceride fractions, indicating a marked inhibition of mucosal reesterification to TG.
The degree of inhibition of mucosal reesterification and the degree of inhibition of transport of wall lipids were directly related to the degree of inhibition of uptake of luminal radioactivity. This relationship suggests that the rate of reesterification, the level of mucosal FFA, and the rate of transport of intramucosal TG may be of importance in determining the extent of uptake of intraluminal lipid by the mucosal cells.
Since a significant fraction of the wall radioactivity was in the form of TG, the decreased transport of wall lipids was attributed to an impairment of chylomicron completion due to inhibition of either the synthesis of chylomicron apoprotein or the association of preformed TG with the protein moiety of chylomicrons. Experiments with labeled amino acids support the first possibility.
PMCID: PMC322366  PMID: 5819560
6.  Hepatic metabolism of free fatty acids in normal and diabetic dogs 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1970;49(3):537-547.
Fasted dogs prepared with catheters in the femoral artery, portal vein, and hepatic vein and infused intravenously with palmitate-1-14C were used to estimate uptake of free fatty acids in liver and their conversion to major metabolic products secreted into hepatic venous blood. Animals were studied under ordinary conditions and when fat mobilization was increased abruptly by infusing norepinephrine or for a prolonged period by withdrawing insulin from depancreatized dogs. 80% of hepatic blood flow was assumed to be derived from the portal vein.
Hepatic uptake was proportional to net outflow transport of plasma free fatty acids in the three groups and, in each, hepatic extraction fraction was about 25%. Since specific activity of free fatty acids entering and leaving the liver was equal and their composition was closely similar in the three sites sampled, it was concluded that palmitate is a representative tracer for free fatty acids entering the liver and that the liver does not release free fatty acids into the blood.
In norepinephrine-infused dogs, the fraction of free fatty acids secreted in triglycerides (13%) was similar to that of control animals, so that transport of triglycerides was increased. In diabetic dogs no increased transport could be demonstrated since an average of only 2% of free fatty acids was converted to plasma triglyceride fatty acids; the hyperlipemia uniformly observed therefore appeared to result from defective removal of triglycerides from the blood.
A similar fraction of free fatty acids was converted to ketones in normal and norepinephrine-infused dogs. This fraction was somewhat higher in diabetic animals and, in addition, a substantial quantity of ketones was derived from unlabeled precursors. Fractional conversion of free fatty acids to CO2 was similar in normal and norepinephrine-infused dogs, but reduced in the diabetics.
PMCID: PMC322502  PMID: 5415680
7.  Acute hyperinsulinemia and reduced plasma free fatty acid levels decrease intramuscular triglyceride synthesis 
To investigate the effect of acute hyperinsulinemia and the resulting decrease in plasma free fatty acid (FFA) concentrations on intramuscular TG synthesis.
U-13C16-palmitate was infused for 3 hours in anesthetized rabbits after overnight food deprivation. Arterial blood and leg muscle were sampled during the tracer infusion. Plasma samples were analyzed for free and TG-bound palmitate enrichments and concentrations. The enrichments and concentrations of palmitoyl-CoA and palmitoyl-carnitine as well as the enrichment of palmitate bound to TG were measured in muscle samples. Fractional synthetic rate (FSR) of intramuscular TG was calculated using the tracer incorporation method. The rabbits were divided into a control group and a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp group.
Insulin infusion decreased the rate of appearance of plasma free palmitate (2.00 ± 0.15 vs. 0.68 ± 0.20 µmol . kg−1 . min−1; p<.001), decreased plasma FFA concentration (327 ± 61 vs. 72 ± 25 nmol/mL; p<.01), decreased the total concentration of intramuscular fatty acyl-CoA plus fatty acyl-carnitine (12.1 ± 1.6 vs. 7.0 ± 0.7 nmol/g; p<.05), and decreased intramuscular TG FSR (0.48 ± 0.05 vs. 0.21 ± 0.06 %/h; p<.01) in comparison with the control group. Intramuscular TG FSR was correlated (p<.01) with both plasma FFA concentrations and intramuscular fatty acyl-CoA concentrations.
Fatty acid availability is a determinant of intramuscular TG synthesis. Insulin infusion decreases plasma and intramuscular fatty acid availability and thereby decreases TG synthesis.
PMCID: PMC3518684  PMID: 22898252
stable isotopes; fatty acyl-carnitine; fatty acyl-CoA
8.  Kinetic studies of plasma free fatty acid and triglyceride metabolism in man 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1969;48(8):1560-1579.
Plasma transport of free fatty acids (FFA) and triglyceride fatty acids (TGFA) was studied in seven subjects with normal lipid metabolism, one case of total lipodystrophy, and one case of familial hyperlipemia (Type V). Studies were carried out after intravenous injection of radioactive FFA, of lipoproteins previously labeled in vitro in the triglyceride moiety, or both.
Computer techniques were used to evaluate a series of multicompartmental models, and a general model is proposed that yields optimum fitting of experimental data for both FFA and TGFA. The results show that as much as 20-30% of FFA leaving the plasma compartment in normal subjects is transported to an exchanging extravascular pool and quickly reenters the plasma pool as FFA. The rate of irreversible delivery of FFA from plasma to tissues averaged 358 μEq/min in normals. The lipodystrophy patient, despite the virtual absence of adipose tissue (confirmed at autopsy), had a plasma FFA concentration and a total FFA transport, both more than twice normal. Total TGFA transport ranged from 25 to 81 μEq/min in four normal controls. The rate constant for TGFA turnover in the patient with Type V hyperlipemia was so small that total transport could not be quantified from the data available; the TGFA half-life was over 500 min.
In two normal subjects given injections of autologous lipoproteins labeled in vitro with triolein-14C and simultaneously given oleic acid-3H, it was shown that the time course for the disappearance of the TGFA in the in vitro labeled samples conformed almost exactly to that of the physiologically labeled lipoprotein TGFA synthesized from injected FFA (as evidenced by the simultaneous fitting of both sets of data using the same multicompartmental model and the same rate constants). Radioactivity appeared in the plasma FFA fraction at a significant rate after injection of plasma labeled in vitro with TGFA. It was estimated that as much as 50% of the total TGFA transported underwent rapid and rather direct conversion to FFA in the two normal subjects studied this way. The kinetic data suggest that such conversion of TGFA to FFA was not preceded by any extensive dilution, such as would result from complete mixing with tissue triglyceride stores.
PMCID: PMC322383  PMID: 5796365
9.  Very low density lipoprotein triglyceride transport in type IV hyperlipoproteinemia and the effects of carbohydrate-rich diets 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1970;49(12):2281-2297.
Transport of plasma-free fatty acids (FFA) and of fatty acids in triglycerides of plasma very low density lipoproteins (VLDL-TGFA) was studied in two normal subjects, five patients with type IV hyperlipoproteinemia, and two patients with type I hyperlipoproteinemia. After intravenous pulse-labeling with albumin-bound 1-palmitate-14C, specific radioactivity of plasma FFA and VLDL-TGFA were determined at intervals up to 24 hr. The results were analyzed using several different multicompartmental models each compatible with the experimental data. Fractional transport of VLDL-TGFA was distinctly lower (no overlap) in the type IV patients than in the control subjects, both on a usual balanced diet (40% of calories from carbohydrate) and on a high-carbohydrate diet (80% of calories). However, net or total transport of VLDL-TGFA in the type IV patients was not clearly distinguishable from that in the control subjects, there being considerable overlap on either diet. The results suggest that in this group of type IV patients the underlying defect leading to the increased pool size of VLDL-TGFA is not overproduction but a relative defect in mechanisms for removal of VLDL-TGFA. Since some of these type IV patients had only a moderate degree of hypertriglyceridemia at the time they were studied, and since it is not established that patients with the type IV phenotype constitute a biochemically homogeneous population, the present results should not be generalized.
Four studies were done (in two control subjects and two type IV patients) in which the kinetic parameters in the same individual were determined on the balanced diet and on the high-carbohydrate diet. All subjects showed an increase in VLDL-TGFA pool size. Using two of the models for analysis, all showed an increase in net transport of VLDL-TGFA; using the third model, three of the four studies showed an increase in VLDL-TGFA transport. The results are compatible with the interpretation that the carbohydrate-induced increase in VLDL-TGFA, both in controls and type IV patients, is at least in part due to an increased rate of production of VLDL-TGFA. The magnitude of the increase was approximately the same in controls and patients. Thus, metabolic adjustment to a high-carbohydrate regimen in these type IV patients may not be basically different from that in normal controls; the higher levels of VLDL-TGFA reached may simply be another reflection of a defective removal mechanism. An alternative interpretation, compatible with the data, would involve both a carbohydrate-induced increase in fractional rate of release of VLDL-TGFA from liver to plasma and a decrease in fractional removal of VLDL-TGFA from plasma without increase in net production rate. The simpler hypothesis of a single primary effect on net VLDL-TGFA production from FFA seems more likely.
PMCID: PMC322730  PMID: 5480854
10.  Effects of a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet on VLDL-triglyceride assembly, production, and clearance 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1999;104(8):1087-1096.
Low-fat, high-carbohydrate (LF/HC) diets commonly elevate plasma triglyceride (TG) concentrations, but the kinetic mechanisms responsible for this effect remain uncertain. Subjects with low TG (normolipidemic [NL]) and those with moderately elevated TG (hypertriglyceridemic [HTG]) were studied on both a control and an LF/HC diet. We measured VLDL particle and TG transport rates, plasma nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) flux, and sources of fatty acids used for the assembly of VLDL-TG. The LF/HC diet resulted in a 60% elevation in TG, a 37% reduction in VLDL-TG clearance, and an 18% reduction in whole-body fat oxidation, but no significant change in VLDL-apo B or VLDL-TG secretion rates. Significant elevations in fasting apo B-48 concentrations were observed on the LF/HC in HTG subjects. In both groups, fasting de novo lipogenesis was low regardless of diet. The NEFA pool contributed the great majority of fatty acids to VLDL-TG in NL subjects on both diets, whereas in HTG subjects, the contribution of NEFA was somewhat lower overall and was reduced further in individuals on the LF/HC diet. Between 13% and 29% of VLDL-TG fatty acids remained unaccounted for by the sum of de novo lipogenesis and plasma NEFA input in HTG subjects. We conclude that (a) whole-food LF/HC diets reduce VLDL-TG clearance and do not increase VLDL-TG secretion or de novo lipogenesis; (b) sources of fatty acids for assembly of VLDL-TG differ between HTG and NL subjects and are further affected by diet composition; (c) the presence of chylomicron remnants in the fasting state on LF/HC diets may contribute to elevated TG levels by competing for VLDL-TG lipolysis and by providing a source of fatty acids for hepatic VLDL-TG synthesis; and (d) the assembly, production, and clearance of elevated plasma VLDL-TG in response to LF/HC diets therefore differ from those for elevated TG on higher-fat diets.
PMCID: PMC408572  PMID: 10525047
11.  Structure and mechanism of a bacterial sodium-dependent dicarboxylate transporter 
Nature  2012;491(7425):622-626.
In human cells, cytosolic citrate is a major precursor for the synthesis of fatty acids, triacylglycerols, cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein. Cytosolic citrate further regulates the cell’s energy balance by activating the fatty acid synthesis pathway while down-regulating both the glycolysis and fatty acid β-oxidation pathways (Supplementary Fig. 1) 1–4. The rate of fatty acid synthesis in liver and adipose cells, the two major tissue types for such synthesis, correlates directly with the concentration of citrate in the cytosol 2–5. The cytosolic citrate concentration partially depends on direct import across the plasma membrane via the Na+-dependent citrate transporter (NaCT) 6,7. Mutations of the homologous fly gene (INDY, I’m Not Dead Yet) result in reduced fat storage through calorie restriction 8. More recently, NaCT-knockout mice have been found to have increased hepatic mitochondrial biogenesis, higher lipid oxidation and energy expenditure, and reduced lipogenesis, which taken together protect the mice from obesity and insulin resistance 9. To understand the transport mechanism of NaCT/INDY proteins, here we report the 3.2 Å crystal structure of a bacterial INDY homolog. One citrate molecule and one sodium ion are bound per protein, and their binding sites are defined by conserved amino acid motifs, forming the structural basis for understanding the transporters’ specificity. Comparison of the structures of the two symmetrical halves of the transporter suggests conformational changes that propel substrate translocation.
PMCID: PMC3617922  PMID: 23086149
12.  Effects of a 3-day fast and of ethanol on splanchnic metabolism of FFA, amino acids, and carbohydrates in healthy young men. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1976;57(2):329-340.
Splanchnic metabolism was studied to quantify changes underlying the fatty liver, hyperlipemia, and hypoglycemia produced by ethanol. Four subjects fasted for 15 h were compared with five subjects fasted for 69 h under basal conditions and during continuous intravenous infusion of sufficient ethanol to give a concentration of 3-5 mM in arterial blood plasma. Splanchnic storage of fatty acids was estimated from the difference between uptake of FFA and secretion of derived products. Basal values for splanchnic uptake of FFA were twofold higher after the 69-h fast while splanchnic storage of fatty acids and production of ketone bodies increased threefold. Values for basal secreation into the blood of triglycerides derived from FFA were similar in the two groups. In both nutritional states, the fraction of FFA taken up in the splanchnic region oxidized to ketone bodies and to CO2 fell when ethanol was given because of preferential oxidation of ethanol to acetate, and the fraction esterified rose. However, systemic transport and splanchnic uptake of FFA fell with ethanol in subjects fasted 15 h, so that neither storage of triglycerides in splanchnic tissues nor secretion into the blood increased. In subjects fasted 69 h, ethanol increased transport of FFA and splanchnic storage of fat. In all but one subject it also increased secretion of triglycerides into the blood. The concentration of glucose in blood fell during ethanol infusion in all five subjects undergoing the 69-h fast. Mean splanchnic glucose production was maintained at about one-half of the pre-ethanol value, despite virtual cessation of splanchnic uptake of lactate and of those amino acids that are metabolized via malate. Quantitative estimates of extrasplanchnic metabolism suggest that enhanced formation of alpha-glycerophosphate from glucose, in addition to impaired hepatic gluconeogenesis, may contribute to ethanol-induced hypoglycemia in man.
PMCID: PMC436657  PMID: 176179
13.  The effect of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids on 3H-thymidine incorporation in hepatoma 7288CTC perfused in situ. 
British Journal of Cancer  1992;66(2):297-303.
Ingestion of diets containing corn oil or marine fish oils is known to increase or decrease, respectively, the growth of transplantable rodent tumours. The active agents in these oils have been identified as linoleic acid (in corn oil) and omega-3 fatty acids (in marine oils), but it is still not known how they influence the tumour growth processes. In these experiments we examined the effects of plasma free omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids on the rate of 3H-thymidine incorporation in tissue-isolated hepatoma 7288CTC perfused in situ. Host Buffalo rats were fed an essential fatty acid-deficient diet. Plasma and tumours in these animals contained low endogenous levels of both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Perfusion of these tumours for 2 h with donor whole blood containing added omega-6 free fatty acids, including 0.5 mM linoleic (C18:2,N-6), gamma-linolenic (C18:3,N-6), dihomo-gamma-linolenic (C20:3,N-6) or arachidonic acids (C20:4,N-6), increased the rate of 3H-thymidine incorporation. Linoleic acid was about three times more effective than the other omega-6 fatty acids. Typical hyperbolic substrate-saturation curves were observed as the plasma free linoleate or arachidonate concentration was increased. When perfused alone plasma free omega-3 fatty acids had no effect on tumour 3H-thymidine incorporation, but in the presence of linoleic acid the omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic (C18:3,N-3) and eicosapentaenoic (C20:5,N-3), competitively inhibited both tumour linoleate uptake and the stimulative effect on 3H-thymidine incorporation. The results suggest that the ambient plasma free linoleic and arachidonic acid concentrations in host arterial blood directly influence the rate of tumour DNA synthesis. Plasma free omega-3 fatty acids appear to modulate the effect of linoleic acid by competitively inhibiting its uptake. These relationships could explain the actions of dietary linoleic and omega-3 fatty acids on tumour growth in vivo.
PMCID: PMC1977789  PMID: 1503902
14.  Effect of fatty acids on lipid and apoprotein secretion and association in hepatocyte cultures. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1983;72(1):371-378.
Increasing availability of free fatty acids (FFA) to liver results in enhanced rates of secretion of triglycerides in lipoproteins. However, as FFA uptake increases, triglyceride secretory rates reach a plateau and esterified fatty acids accumulate intracellularly, suggesting that something is limiting lipid transport out of the liver. One possibility could be the limited availability of apoproteins. To test this hypothesis, primary rat hepatocytes in culture were incubated with increasing amounts of FFA (0-2.1 mumol/dish) and the amounts of lipids and apoproteins inside the cells and in culture media were measured; the latter by specific radioimmunoassays. Media also were fractionated on Sepharose 2B and 6B columns and the elution profiles of apoproteins were obtained. With exposure to increasing amounts of free fatty acids, hepatocytes took up more fatty acids and intracellular levels of triglycerides rose (from 71 to 146 micrograms/mg cell protein). Concomitantly, media triglycerides nearly doubled (31 to 51 micrograms/mg). Incorporation of [3H]glyceride into cellular and media triglyceride also rose. However, levels of apoproteins A-I, B, C-III3, and E in cells and media were unchanged. The increasing amounts of triglycerides in media were present in larger particles, as demonstrated on gel permeation chromatography. The elution profiles of apoproteins B, C-III3, and E were altered in that a greater proportion of the apoproteins eluted with larger particles. Similar results were obtained when hepatocytes were preloaded with increasing amounts of FFA over 12 h and analyses of cells and media were carried out 8 and 22 h after removal of fatty acids from the media. During loading of cells, accumulation of cellular triglycerides was directly related to media FFA concentrations. During unloading, triglyceride secretory rates were related to cellular triglyceride levels. At higher triglyceride secretory rates larger particles were secreted and a greater proportion of apoproteins was associated with the larger particles, but total amounts of apoproteins in the system did not change. These data lead us to suggest that enhanced rates of apoprotein synthesis need not occur in the response to acute changes in hepatic lipid transport, rather, increased secretion of lipid is brought about by augmented intracellular lipid apoprotein association.
PMCID: PMC1129192  PMID: 6874953
15.  Control of Fatty Acid Synthesis in Bacteria 
Journal of Bacteriology  1972;110(1):96-102.
When glycerol-requiring auxotrophs of Bacillus subtilis are deprived of glycerol, the synthesis of fatty acids continues at an apparent rate of 20 to 50% that of supplemented cultures. The newly synthesized fatty acids are not incorporated into phospholipid and accumulate as free fatty acids. These molecules undergo a much more rapid turnover than phospholipid fatty acids, and the rate of turnover is sufficient to indicate that the rate of fatty acid synthesis in glycerol-deprived cultures is similar to that in supplemented ones. The average chain length of the free fatty acids is greater than that of the phospholipid fatty acids. Cells deprived of required amino acids also show a diminution in the apparent rate of fatty acid synthesis; however, in this case, the fatty acids accumulate in phospholipid, and no increase of the free fatty acid fraction is observed. It is argued on the basis of these findings that the control of lipid synthesis does not operate at the level of transacylation but must act on one or more of the reactions of the fatty acid synthetase.
PMCID: PMC247383  PMID: 4622908
16.  Suppression by diets rich in fish oil of very low density lipoprotein production in man. 
The highly polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish oils lower the plasma triglyceride concentration. We have studied the effect of a diet rich in fish oil on the rate of production of the triglyceride-transporting very low density lipoprotein (VLDL). Seven subjects, five normal and two with hypertriglyceridemia received up to 30% of daily energy needs from a fish oil preparation that was rich in eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, omega-3 fatty acids with five and six double bonds, respectively. Compared with a diet similarly enriched with safflower oil (in which the predominant fatty acid is the omega-6 linoleic acid, with two double bonds), the fish oil diet lowered VLDL lipids and B apoprotein concentrations profoundly. High density lipoprotein lipids and A1 apoprotein were also lowered, but the effect on low density lipoprotein (LDL) concentration was inconsistent. The daily production or flux of VLDL apoprotein B, calculated from reinjected autologous 125I-labeled lipoprotein, was substantially less in six subjects studied after 3 wk of fish oil, compared with after safflower oil. This effect on flux was more consistent than that on the irreversible fractional removal rate, which was increased in the four normolipidemic but inconsistent in the hypertriglyceridemic subjects. This suggests that fish oil reduced primarily the production of VLDL. The daily production of VLDL triglyceride, calculated from the kinetics of the triglyceride specific radioactivity-time curves after [3H]glycerol was injected, also showed very substantial reductions in five subjects studied. The marked suppression in VLDL apoprotein B and VLDL triglyceride formation was found not to be due to diminished plasma total free fatty acid or plasma eicosapentaenoic flux, calculated during constant infusions of [14C]eicosapentaenoic acid and [3H]oleic acid in four subjects. In two subjects there was presumptive evidence for substantial independent influx of LDL during the fish oil diet, based on the precursor-product relationship between the intermediate density lipoprotein and LDL apoprotein B specific radioactivity-time curves.
PMCID: PMC425187  PMID: 6736254
17.  Mechanism of the Hypolipemic Effect of Clofibrate in Postabsorptive Man 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1973;52(9):2146-2159.
Splanchnic metabolism of triglycerides and other major substrates was studied in the postabsorptive state in normotriglyceridemic and hypertriglyceridemic human subjects who received ½ g of clofibrate four times daily for 3 wk. Transport in blood plasma of triglycerides produced in the splanchnic region was quantified by three methods: (a) measurement of the transsplanchnic gradient of 14C-labeled triglycerides during constant intravenous infusion of [1- 14C] palmitate (b) chemical measurement of the transplanchnic gradient in concentration of triglycerides of very low density lipoproteins; and (c) determination of clearance of 14C-labeled triglycerides in extrasplanchnic tissues. The first method measures only triglycerides derived from free fatty acids and the last two measure total splanchnic production. In hypertriglyceridemic subjects treated with clofibrate, average rates of total splanchnic production of triglycerides and production from free fatty acids were the same as those of comparable untreated subjects despite a consistent fall in plasma triglyceride levels. The hypotriglyceridemic effect of the drug was therefore accompanied by improved disposal of triglycerides in extrasplanchnic tissues. In treated normotriglyceridemic subjects, unlike their untreated counterparts, total splanchnic production was significantly higher than production from free fatty acids. Failure of clofibrate to reduce triglyceride levels in normotriglyceridemic subjects may have been related to increased total splanchnic production, coupled with improved extrasplanchnic disposal.
Systemic transport and net splanchnic uptake of free fatty acids were similar in treated and control subjects but the fraction of [1-14C]palmitate converted to acetoacetate in splanchnic tissues was significantly higher in treated subjects. Net splanchnic extraction of plasma amino acids that enter the glucogenic pathway via pyruvate was increased in treated subjects and their arterial concentrations were reduced.
PMCID: PMC333015  PMID: 4353773
18.  Kefir consumption does not alter plasma lipid levels or cholesterol fractional synthesis rates relative to milk in hyperlipidemic men: a randomized controlled trial [ISRCTN10820810] 
Fermented milk products have been shown to affect serum cholesterol concentrations in humans. Kefir, a fermented milk product, has been traditionally consumed for its potential health benefits but has to date not been studied for its hypocholesterolemic properties.
Thirteen healthy mildly hypercholesterolemic male subjects consumed a dairy supplement in randomized crossover trial for 2 periods of 4 wk each. Subjects were blinded to the dairy supplement consumed. Blood samples were collected at baseline and after 4 wk of supplementation for measurement of plasma total, low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations, as well as fatty acid profile and cholesterol synthesis rate. Fecal samples were collected at baseline and after 2 and 4 wk of supplementation for determination of fecal short chain fatty acid level and bacterial content.
Kefir had no effect on total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or triglyceride concentrations nor on cholesterol fractional synthesis rates after 4 wk of supplementation. No significant change on plasma fatty acid levels was observed with diet. However, both kefir and milk increased (p < 0.05) fecal isobutyric, isovaleric and propionic acids as well as the total amount of fecal short chain fatty acids. Kefir supplementation resulted in increased fecal bacterial content in the majority of the subjects.
Since kefir consumption did not result in lowered plasma lipid concentrations, the results of this study do not support consumption of kefir as a cholesterol-lowering agent.
PMCID: PMC65674  PMID: 11825344
19.  Mechanism of free fatty acid-induced insulin resistance in humans. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;97(12):2859-2865.
To examine the mechanism by which lipids cause insulin resistance in humans, skeletal muscle glycogen and glucose-6-phosphate concentrations were measured every 15 min by simultaneous 13C and 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in nine healthy subjects in the presence of low (0.18 +/- 0.02 mM [mean +/- SEM]; control) or high (1.93 +/- 0.04 mM; lipid infusion) plasma free fatty acid levels under euglycemic (approximately 5.2 mM) hyperinsulinemic (approximately 400 pM) clamp conditions for 6 h. During the initial 3.5 h of the clamp the rate of whole-body glucose uptake was not affected by lipid infusion, but it then decreased continuously to be approximately 46% of control values after 6 h (P < 0.00001). Augmented lipid oxidation was accompanied by a approximately 40% reduction of oxidative glucose metabolism starting during the third hour of lipid infusion (P < 0.05). Rates of muscle glycogen synthesis were similar during the first 3 h of lipid and control infusion, but thereafter decreased to approximately 50% of control values (4.0 +/- 1.0 vs. 9.3 +/- 1.6 mumol/[kg.min], P < 0.05). Reduction of muscle glycogen synthesis by elevated plasma free fatty acids was preceded by a fall of muscle glucose-6-phosphate concentrations starting at approximately 1.5 h (195 +/- 25 vs. control: 237 +/- 26 mM; P < 0.01). Therefore in contrast to the originally postulated mechanism in which free fatty acids were thought to inhibit insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in muscle through initial inhibition of pyruvate dehydrogenase these results demonstrate that free fatty acids induce insulin resistance in humans by initial inhibition of glucose transport/phosphorylation which is then followed by an approximately 50% reduction in both the rate of muscle glycogen synthesis and glucose oxidation.
PMCID: PMC507380  PMID: 8675698
20.  Chronic Ethanol Consumption Increases Cardiomyocyte Fatty Acid Uptake and Decreases Ventricular Contractile Function in C57BL/6J Mice 
Alcohol, a major cause of human cardiomyopathy, decreases cardiac contractility in both animals and man. However, key features of alcohol-related human heart disease are not consistently reproduced in animal models. Accordingly, we studied cardiac histology, contractile function, cardiomyocyte long chain fatty acid (LCFA) uptake, and gene expression in male C57BL/6J mice consuming 0, 10, 14, or 18% ethanol in drinking water for 3 months. At sacrifice, all EtOH groups had mildly decreased body and increased heart weights, dose-dependent increases in cardiac triglycerides and a marked increase in cardiac fatty acid ethyl esters. [3H]-oleic acid uptake kinetics demonstrated increased facilitated cardiomyocyte LCFA uptake, associated with increased expression of genes encoding the LCFA transporters CD36 and Slc27a1 (FATP1) in EtOH-fed animals. Although SCD-1 expression was increased, lipidomic analysis did not indicate significantly increased de novo LCFA synthesis. By echocardiography, ejection fraction (EF) and the related fractional shortening (FS) of left ventricular diameter during systole were reduced and negatively correlated with cardiac triglycerides. Expression of myocardial PGC-1α and multiple downstream target genes in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway, including several in the electron transport and ATP synthase complexes of the inner mitochondrial membrane, were down-regulated. Cardiac ATP was correspondingly reduced. The data suggest that decreased expression of PGC-1α and its target genes result in decreased cardiac ATP levels, which may explain the decrease in myocardial contractile function caused by chronic EtOH intake. This model recapitulates important features of human alcoholic cardiomyopathy and illustrates a potentially important pathophysiologic link between cardiac lipid metabolism and function.
PMCID: PMC3647020  PMID: 23422163
ethanol consumption; lipid accumulation; fatty acid transport; PGC-1α; cardiac function; ATP; gene expression
21.  Copper toxicity towards Saccharomyces cerevisiae: dependence on plasma membrane fatty acid composition. 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  1996;62(11):3960-3966.
One major mechanism of copper toxicity towards microorganisms is disruption of plasma membrane integrity. In this study, the influence of plasma membrane fatty acid composition on the susceptibility of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to Cu2+ toxicity was investigated. Microbial fatty acid composition is highly variable, depending on both intrinsic and environmental factors. Manipulation was achieved in this study by growth in fatty acid-supplemented medium. Whereas cells grown under standard conditions contained only saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, considerable incorporation of the diunsaturated fatty acid linoleate (18:2) (to more than 65% of the total fatty acids) was observed in both whole-cell homogenates and plasma membrane-enriched fractions from cells grown in linoleate-supplemented medium. Linoleate enrichment had no discernible effect on the growth of S. cerevisiae. However, linoleate-enriched cells were markedly more susceptible to copper-induced plasma membrane permeabilization. Thus, after addition of Cu(NO3)2, rates of cellular K+ release (loss of membrane integrity) were at least twofold higher from linoleate-supplemented cells than from unsupplemented cells; this difference increased with reductions in the Cu2+ concentration supplied. Levels of cellular Cu accumulation were also higher in linoleate-supplemented cells. These results were correlated with a very marked dependence of whole-cell Cu2+ toxicity on cellular fatty acid unsaturation. For example, within 10 min of exposure to 5 microM Cu2+, only 3% of linoleate-enriched cells remained viable (capable of colony formation). In contrast, 100% viability was maintained in cells previously grown in the absence of a fatty acid supplement. Cells displaying intermediate levels of linoleate incorporation showed intermediate Cu2+ sensitivity, while cells enriched with the triunsaturated fatty acid linolenate (18:3) were most sensitive to Cu2+. These results demonstrate for the first time that changes in cellular and plasma membrane fatty acid compositions can dramatically alter microbial sensitivity to copper.
PMCID: PMC168214  PMID: 8899983
22.  Glut1 deficiency (G1D): Epilepsy and metabolic dysfunction in a mouse model of the most common human phenotype 
Neurobiology of disease  2012;48(1):92-101.
Brain glucose supplies most of the carbon required for acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) generation (an important step for myelin synthesis) and for neurotransmitter production via further metabolism of acetyl-CoA in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. However, it is not known whether reduced brain glucose transporter type I (GLUT-1) activity, the hallmark of the GLUT-1 deficiency (G1D) syndrome, leads to acetyl-CoA, TCA or neurotransmitter depletion. This question is relevant because, in its most common form in man, G1D is associated with cerebral hypomyelination (manifested as microcephaly) and epilepsy, suggestive of acetyl-CoA depletion and neurotransmitter dysfunction, respectively. Yet, brain metabolism in G1D remains underexplored both theoretically and experimentally, partly because computational models of limited brain glucose transport are subordinate to metabolic assumptions and partly because current hemizygous G1D mouse models manifest a mild phenotype not easily amenable to investigation. In contrast, adult antisense G1D mice replicate the human phenotype of spontaneous epilepsy associated with robust thalamocortical electrical oscillations. Additionally, and in consonance with human metabolic imaging observations, thalamus and cerebral cortex display the lowest GLUT-1 expression and glucose uptake in the mutant mouse. This depletion of brain glucose is associated with diminished plasma fatty acids and elevated ketone body levels, and with decreased brain acetyl-CoA and fatty acid contents, consistent with brain ketone body consumption and with stimulation of brain beta-oxidation and/or diminished cerebral lipid synthesis. In contrast with other epilepsies, astrocyte glutamine synthetase expression, cerebral TCA cycle intermediates, amino acid and amine neurotransmitter contents are also intact in G1D. The data suggest that the TCA cycle is preserved in G1D because reduced glycolysis and acetyl-CoA formation can be balanced by enhanced ketone body utilization. These results are incompatible with global cerebral energy failure or with neurotransmitter depletion as responsible for epilepsy in G1D and point to an unknown mechanism by which glycolysis critically regulates cortical excitability.
PMCID: PMC3495165  PMID: 22683290
epilepsy; brain metabolism; TCA cycle; acetyl-coenzyme A; glutamate; glutamine; GABA; GLUT1; GLUT-1; glucose transporter; ketones; fatty acids; EEG
23.  Differential distribution of proteins and lipids in detergent-resistant and detergent-soluble domains in rod outer segment plasma membranes and disks 
Journal of neurochemistry  2007;104(2):336-352.
Membrane heterogeneity plays a significant role in regulating signal transduction and other cellular activities. We examined the protein and lipid components associated with the detergent-resistant membrane (DRM) fractions from retinal rod outer segment (ROS) disk and plasma membrane-enriched preparations. Proteomics and correlative western blot analysis revealed the presence of α and β subunits of the rod cGMP-gated ion channel and glucose transporter type 1, among other proteins. The glucose transporter was present exclusively in ROS plasma membrane (not disks) and was highly enriched in DRMs, as was the cGMP-gated channel β-subunit. In contrast, the majority of rod opsin and ATP-binding cassette transporter A4 was localized to detergent-soluble domains in disks. As expected, the cholesterol: fatty acid mole ratio was higher in DRMs than in the corresponding parent membranes (disk and plasma membranes, respectively) and was also higher in disks compared to plasma membranes. Furthermore, the ratio of saturated: polyunsaturated fatty acids was also higher in DRMs compared to their respective parent membranes (disk and plasma membranes). These results confirm that DRMs prepared from both disks and plasma membranes are enriched in cholesterol and in saturated fatty acids compared to their parent membranes. The dominant fatty acids in DRMs were 16: 0 and 18: 0; 22: 6n3 and 18: 1 levels were threefold higher and twofold lower, respectively, in disk-derived DRMs compared to plasma membrane-derived DRMs. We estimate, based on fatty acid recovery that DRMs account for only ~ 8% of disks and ~ 12% of ROS plasma membrane.
PMCID: PMC2823591  PMID: 17944869
cholesterol; detergent-resistant membranes; fatty acids; membrane microdomains; photoreceptor; proteomics; raft
24.  Apolipoprotein E4 Exaggerates Diabetic Dyslipidemia and Atherosclerosis in Mice Lacking the LDL Receptor 
Diabetes  2011;60(9):2285-2294.
We investigated the differential roles of apolipoprotein E (apoE) isoforms in modulating diabetic dyslipidemia—a potential cause of the increased cardiovascular disease risk of patients with diabetes.
Diabetes was induced using streptozotocin (STZ) in human apoE3 (E3) or human apoE4 (E4) mice deficient in the LDL receptor (LDLR−/−).
Diabetic E3LDLR−/− and E4LDLR−/− mice have indistinguishable levels of plasma glucose and insulin. Despite this, diabetes increased VLDL triglycerides and LDL cholesterol in E4LDLR−/− mice twice as much as in E3LDLR−/− mice. Diabetic E4LDLR−/− mice had similar lipoprotein fractional catabolic rates compared with diabetic E3LDLR−/− mice but had larger hepatic fat stores and increased VLDL secretion. Diabetic E4LDLR−/− mice demonstrated a decreased reliance on lipid as an energy source based on indirect calorimetry. Lower phosphorylated acetyl-CoA carboxylase content and higher gene expression of fatty acid synthase in the liver indicated reduced fatty acid oxidation and increased fatty acid synthesis. E4LDLR−/− primary hepatocytes cultured in high glucose accumulated more intracellular lipid than E3LDLR−/− hepatocytes concomitant with a 60% reduction in fatty acid oxidation. Finally, the exaggerated dyslipidemia in diabetic E4LDLR−/− mice was accompanied by a dramatic increase in atherosclerosis.
ApoE4 causes severe dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis independent of its interaction with LDLR in a model of STZ-induced diabetes. ApoE4-expressing livers have reduced fatty acid oxidation, which contributes to the accumulation of tissue and plasma lipids.
PMCID: PMC3161311  PMID: 21810592
25.  Towards an Understanding of Mesocestoides vogae Fatty Acid Binding Proteins’ Roles 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e111204.
Two fatty acid binding proteins, MvFABPa and MvFABPb were identified in the parasite Mesocestoides vogae (Platyhelmithes, Cestoda). Fatty acid binding proteins are small intracellular proteins whose members exhibit great diversity. Proteins of this family have been identified in many organisms, of which Platyhelminthes are among the most primitive. These proteins have particular relevance in flatworms since de novo synthesis of fatty acids is absent. Fatty acids should be captured from the media needing an efficient transport system to uptake and distribute these molecules. While HLBPs could be involved in the shuttle of fatty acids to the surrounding host tissues and convey them into the parasite, FABPs could be responsible for the intracellular trafficking. In an effort to understand the role of MvFABPs in fatty acid transport of M. vogae larvae, we analysed the intracellular localization of both MvFABPs and the co-localization with in vivo uptake of fatty acid analogue BODIPY FL C16. Immunohistochemical studies on larvae sections using specific antibodies, showed a diffuse cytoplasmic distribution of each protein with some expression in nuclei and mitochondria. MvFABPs distribution was confirmed by mass spectrometry identification from 2D-electrophoresis of larvae subcellular fractions. This work is the first report showing intracellular distribution of MvFABPs as well as the co-localization of these proteins with the BODIPY FL C16 incorporated from the media. Our results suggest that fatty acid binding proteins could target fatty acids to cellular compartments including nuclei. In this sense, M. vogae FABPs could participate in several cellular processes fulfilling most of the functions attributed to vertebrate’s counterparts.
PMCID: PMC4210247  PMID: 25347286

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