Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 45, Number 5, September-October 2005
Page(s) 599 - 612
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 45 (2005) 599-612
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2005048

Dietary myristic acid at physiologically relevant levels increases the tissue content of C20:5 n-3 and C20:3 n-6 in the rat

Vincent Rioux, Daniel Catheline, Monique Bouriel and Philippe Legrand

Laboratoire de Biochimie, INRA-Agrocampus, 65 rue de Saint-Brieuc, 35042 Rennes, France

(Received 7 March 2005; accepted 7 June 2005)

Abstract - This study was designed to investigate the effect of myristic acid on the biosynthesis and metabolism of highly unsaturated fatty acids, when it is supplied in a narrow physiological range in the diet of the rat (0.2-1.2% of total dietary energy). Three experimental diets were designed, containing 22% of total dietary energy as lipids and increasing doses of myristic acid (0.71, 3.00 and 5.57% of total fatty acids). Saturated fat did not exceed 31% of total fat and the C18:3 n-3 amount in each diet was strictly equal (1.6% of total fatty acids). After 7 weeks, the diets had no effect on plasma cholesterol level but greatly modified the liver, plasma and adipose tissue saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acid profiles. Firstly, daily intakes of myristic acid resulted in a dose-dependent tissue accumulation of myristic acid itself. Palmitic acid was significantly increased in the tissues of the rats fed the higher dose of myristic acid. A dose-response accumulation of tissue C16:1 n-7 as a function of dietary C14:0 was also shown. Secondly, a main finding was that, among n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, a dose-response accumulation of liver and plasma C20:5 n-3 and C20:3 n-6 (two precursors of eicosanoids) as a function of dietary C14:0 was shown. This result suggests that dietary myristic acid may participate in the regulation of highly unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis and metabolism.

Key words: dietary myristic acid / highly unsaturated FA biosynthesis and metabolism / rat

Corresponding author: Philippe Legrand

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005