The effect of dietary fat content on phospholipid fatty acid profile is muscle fiber type dependent

Alena Janovská, George Hatzinikolas, Mark Mano, Gary A. Wittert

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24 Citations (Scopus)


A high-saturated-fat diet (HFD) induces obesity and insulin resistance (IR). IR has been linked to alterations and increased saturation in the phospholipid composition of skeletal muscles. We aimed to determine whether HFD feeding affects fatty acid (FA) membrane profile in a muscle fiber type-specific manner. We measured phospholipid FAs and expression of FA synthesis genes in oxidative soleus (SOL) and glycolytic extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles from rats fed either standard chow (standard laboratory diet, SLD) or a HFD. The HFD increased fat mass, plasma insulin, and leptin levels. Compared with EDL, SOL muscles preferentially accumulated C18 over C16 FAs and n-6 over n-3 polyunsaturated FAs (PUFAs) on either diet. With the HFD, SOL muscles contained more n-9 monounsaturated FAs (MUFAs) and n-6 PUFAs and less n-7 MUFAs and n-3 PUFAs than EDL muscles and had lower unsaturation index, a pattern known to be associated with IR. Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 expression was ∼13-fold greater in EDL than in SOL muscles but did not change with the HFD in either muscle. The expression of Elongase-5 was higher, and that of Elongase-6 (Elovl6) was lower in EDL compared with SOL muscles with both diets. In EDL muscles, the expression of Elovl6 was lower in the HFD than in the SLD. The pattern of FA uptake, expression, and diet-induced changes in FA desaturating and elongating enzymes maintained higher FA unsaturation in EDL muscles. Accordingly, the fiber type composition of skeletal muscles and their distribution may be important in the development and progression of obesity and IR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E779-E786
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Apr 2010


  • Elongases
  • Obesity
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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