AbstractWeanling female rats raised on a fat-free diet for 8 weeks were then given the same diet supplemented with 0, 0.25, 0.5, or 1% by weight of cholesterol in addition to 10% of safflower oil for 3 days. Fatty acid compositions of cholesteryl esters (CE), triglycerides (TG), and phospholipids (PL) in liver and plasma were examined. Cholesterol feeding increased plasma and liver cholesterol contents and also affected the patterns of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. There were no consistent changes in either plasma and liver TG which contained little 20:3n-6 and 20:4n-6. The levels of 20:3n-6 increased in plasma and liver PL, while proportions of 20:4n-6 decreased in liver and plasma CE. However, the absolute amount of 20:4n-6 in cholesteryl esters increased because of a threefold rise in cholesteryl ester levels. The changes might be attributable to an increased utilization of 20:4n-6 for cholesterol transport and/or an inhibition of delta 5-desaturation of n-6 fatty acids by cholesterol feeding.
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