AbstractThe present study examined the effect of varying dietary linoleate intake (0.01, 0.24, 2.4, 24, 80 or 160 g/kg diet) for 24 weeks on the distribution of triacylglycerol (TG) molecular species in rat epididymal adipose tissue. Adipose TG fractions were purified by thin-layer chromatography and separated into different molecular species by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The identification of TG species was based on fatty acid composition, retention time and the theoretical carbon number. When the dietary 18:2n- 6 content was equal to or less than 24 g/kg, no significant amounts of n-6 fatty acids (mainly 18:2n-6) were observed in adipose tissue TG despite the fact that the levels of 20:4n-6 in liver phospholipids increased significantly. There were 12 major molecular species in adipose tissue when the dietary 18:2n-6 content was less than 2.4 g/kg. When the dietary 18:2n-6 content reached 24 g/kg, an additional six TG species containing one, two or three molecules of 18:2n-6 were observed. The levels of TG molecules containing two or three 18:2n-6 residues were further increased when the diet contained very large amounts of linoleic acid (160 g/kg). Conversely, those TG species containing only one 18:2n-6 residue became less abundant. It is suggested that the accumulation of these linoleate-rich TG molecular species in adipose tissue, particularly di- and trilinoleoyl containing TG, is the result of an adequate or an excessive intake of linoleic acid.
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