, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 174-180

The metabolism of dihomo-γ-linolenic acid in man

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Orally adminstered dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DHLA) is well absorbed in man; it appears in blood after ca. 4 hr first as triglyceride ester and later as phospholipid. After sustained-dosing, DHLA penetrated membrane pools and all phospholipid components but, depending on the dosage, reached a metabolic equilibrium in 4–16 days. Intact plateles do not accumulate arachidonate following DHLA administration, and species differences occur in the capacity of animals to metabolize DHLA to arachidonic acid (AA). The rat appears to be unusual in having a very active hepatic Δ5-desaturase enzyme system. Potentially antithrombotic changes in platelet function which followed the administration of DHLA to man were accompanied by a siginificant increase in the capacity of platelets to synthesize PGE1. Concomitant increases in PGE2 synthesis do not apparently result from an increased production of AA and suggest that DHLA, or a DHLA metabolite, interferes with the metabolism of AA. Effects on thromboxane and prostacyclin synthesis are being studied.