Effect of dietary n-9 eicosatrienoic acid on the fatty acid composition of plasma lipid fractions and tissue phospholipids

L. G. Cleland, M. A. Neumann, R. A. Gibson, T. Hamazaki, K. Akimoto, M. J. James

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21 Citations (Scopus)


n-9 Eicosatrienoic acid (ETrA), also known as Mead acid, is a minor fatty acid in essential fatty acid (EFA)-sufficient healthy subjects but is found at increased levels in EFA deficiency. This study examined the influence of dietary ETrA from a biological source on plasma and tissue ETrA. A synthetic fat-free diet was prepared to which was added Mut 48 oil which contains 19% ETrA (wt%) as well as other n-9 fatty acids. Blends of vegetable oils were used to achieve overall diets with 5% fat (wt%) and varying amounts of ETrA at two different dietary levels of linoleic acid (LA), approximately 4.4 and 19% of total fatty acids. These diets were fed to 5-week-old Dark Agouti rats for four weeks. Plasma lipid fractions and liver, spleen, and peritoneal exudate (PE) cells were analyzed for fatty acid composition. ETrA was present at up to 20% total fatty acids in plasma triglyceride, cholesterol ester, and phospholipid fractions. ETrA also accumulated to substantial levels in phospholipids of liver and spleen (up to 15% of total fatty acids) and PE cells (up to 11%). ETrA was found in plasma and tissue phospholipids in proportion to the amount of ETrA present in the diet. The incorporation was reduced in diets with higher LA content compared to diets containing similar amounts of ETrA but lower LA. All rats remained apparently healthy, and histological survey of major organs revealed no abnormality. While the long-term implications for health of ingestion of diets rich in ETrA remain to be established, rats appear to tolerate high levels of dietary ETrA without adverse effects. Dietary enrichment with ETrA warrants further investigation for possible beneficial effects in models of inflammation and autoimmunity, as well as in other conditions in which mediators derived from n-6 fatty acids can affect homeostasis adversely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-837
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Aug 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Food Science
  • Biochemistry

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