AbstractThe present study examined the in vitro and in vivo metabolism of 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-6 by kidney and liver in the male adult spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) and normotensive (WKY) rats. In liver and kidney slices incubated for 1 h with either [1-14C]18:2n-6 or [1-14C]18:3n-6 (60 microM), substantial amounts of radioactivity were incorporated into triacylglycerol and phospholipid fractions. Approximately 15% of the radiolabeled 18:2n-6 was converted into 18:3n-6 in liver slices but no conversion was found in kidney slices. When incubated with radiolabeled 18:3n-6, over 40% of the radioactivity was metabolized mainly to 20:4n-6 in liver slices, but evenly to 20:3n-6 and 20:4n-6 in kidney slices. There were no differences between the results from SHR and those from WKY. In WKY rats given an oral bolus of radiolabeled 18:3n-6, most of the radioactivity was recovered in the liver and significantly less in the kidney. In both tissues, the radioactivity was associated initially only with 18:3n-6 and later with its elongation product, 20:3n-6. These findings indicated that the kidney, although unable to metabolize 18:2n-6, could metabolize 18:3n-6 taken up from the circulation. The effectiveness of 18:3n-6, compared to 18:2n-6, as an anti-hypertensive agent may result from the provision of a post-delta 6-desaturation metabolite which can be directly converted to blood pressure-regulating eicosanoids in the kidney.
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