, Volume 35, Issue 11, pp 1179–1184 | Cite as

Polyunsaturated fatty acids in plasma lipids of obese children with and without metabolic cardiovascular syndrome

  • Tamás Decsi
  • Györgyi Csabi
  • Katalin Török
  • Éva Erhardt
  • Hajnalka Minda
  • István Burus
  • Szilárd Molnár
  • Dénes Molnár


Previously we reported significantly higher values of γ-linolenic acid (GLA, 18∶3n−6), dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DHGLA, 20∶3n−6), and arachidonic acid (20∶4n−6) in plasma lipid classes in obese children than in nonobese controls. In the present study, fatty acid composition of plasma phospholipids (PL) and sterol esters (STE) was determined by high-resolution capillary gas-liquid chromatography in obese children with an without metabolic cardiovascular syndrome [MCS: defined as simultaneous presence of (i) dyslipidemia, (ii) hyperinsulinemia, (iii) hypertension, and (iv) impaired glucose tolerance] and in nonobese controls. Fatty acid composition of PL and STE lipids did not differ between obese children without MCS and controls. Obese children with MCS exhibited significantly lower linoleic acid (LA, 18∶2n−6) values in PL (17.43 [2.36], %wt/wt, median [range from the first to the third quartile]) than obese children without MCS (19.14 [3.49]) and controls (20.28 [3.80]). In contrast, PL GLA values were significantly higher in obese children with (0.13 [0.08]) than in those without MCS (0.08 [0.04]), whereas STE GLA values were higher in obese children with MCS (1.04 [0.72]) than in controls (0.62 [0.48]). DHGLA values in PL were significantly higher in obese children with MCS (4.06 [0.74]) than in controls (2.69 [1.60]). The GLA/LA ratio was significantly higher, whereas the AA/DHGLA ratio was significantly lower in obese children with MCS than in obese children without MCS and in controls. In this study, LA metabolism was affected only in obese children with but not in those without MCS. In obese children with MCS, δ6-desaturase activity appeared to be stimulated, whereas δ5-desaturase activity appeared to be inhibited. Disturbances in LA metabolism may represent an additional health hazard within the multifaceted clinical picture of MCS.



arachidonic acid


dihomo-γ-linolenic acid


essential fatty acid


γ-linolenic acid


lmoleic acid


long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid


metabolic cardiovascular syndrome




polyunsaturated fatty acid


sterol ester


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Troiano, R.P., Flegal, K.M., Knczmarski, R.J., Campbell, S.M., and Johnson, C.L. (1995) Overweight Prevalence and Trend for Children and Adolescents. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 1963 to 1991, Arch. Pediatr. Adolesc. Med. 149, 1085–1091.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dóber, I. (1996) The Prevalence of Obesity and Super Obesity Among School Children of Pécs in the 1990s. Anthrop. Közl. 38, 149–155.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Must, A., Jacques, P.F., Dallal, G.E., Bajema, C.J., and Dietz, W.H. (1992) Long-term Morbidity and Mortality of Overweight Adolescents, N. Engl. J. Med. 327, 1350–1355.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Decsi, T., Molnár, D., and Koletzko, B. (1996) Long-chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Plasma Lipids of Obese Children, Lipids 31, 305–311.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Phinney, S.D., Davis, P.G., Johnson, S.B., and Holman, R.T. (1991) Obesity and Weight Loss Alter Serum Polyunsaturated Lipids in Humans, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 53, 831–838.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rössner, S., Walldius, G., and Björvell, H. (1989) Fatty Acid Composition in Serum Lipids and Adipose Tissue in Severe Obesity Before and After Six Weeks of Weight Loss, Int. J. Obes. 13, 603–612.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Baillie, G.M., Sherer, J.T., and Weart, C.W. (1998) Insulin and Coronary Artery Disease: Is Syndrome X the Unifying Hypothcsis? Ann. Pharmacother. 32, 233–247.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Liese, A.D., Mayer-Davies, E.J., and Haffner, S.M. (1998) Development of the Multiple Metabolic Syndrome: An Epidemiological Perspective, Epidemiol. Rev. 20, 157–172.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Arslanian, S., and Suprasongsin, C. (1996) insulin Sensitivity, Lipids and Body Composition in Childhood: Is Syndrome X Present? J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 81, 1058–1062.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chen, W., Srinivasan, S.R., Elkasabany, A., and Berenson, G.S. (1999) Cardiovascular Risk Factors Clustering Features of Insulin Resistance Syndrome (Syndrome X) in a Biracial (Black-White) Population of Children. Adolescents, and Young Adults: The Bogalusa Heart Study, Am. J. Epidemiol. 150, 667–674.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Csábi, G., Török, K., Jeges, S., and Molnár, D. (2000) Presence of Metabolic Cardiovascular Syndrome in Obese Children, Eur. J. Pediatr. 159, 91–94.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Parizková, J., and Roth, Z. (1972) Assessment of Depot Fat in Children from Skinfold Measurements by Holtain Caliper. Hum. Biol. 44, 614–616.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Moore, D.J., Durie, P.R., Forstner, G.G., and Pencharz, P.B. (1985) The Assessment of Nutritional Status in Children, Nutr. Res. 5, 797–799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tanner, J.M. (1962) Growth at Adolescence, 2nd edn., Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, p. 325.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Task Force on Blood Pressure Control in Children, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland (1987) Report of the Second Task Force on Blood Pressure Control in Children—1987, Pediatrics 79, 1–25.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Soergel, M., Kirschstein, M., and Busch, C. (1997) Oscillometric Twenty-four-hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Values in Healthy Children and Adolescents: A Multicenter Trial Including 1141 Subjects, J. Pediatr. 130, 178–184.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Braham, D., and Tinder, P. (1972) An Improved Reagent for the Determination of Blood Glucose by the Oxidase System, Analyst 97, 142–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Guthrie, R.A., Guthrie, D.W., and Murthy, D.Y.N. (1973) Standardization of Oral Glucose Tolerance Test and Criteria for the Diagnosis of Chemical Diabetes in Children, Metabolism 22, 275–282.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Alberti, K.G.M.M. (1995) Impaired Glucose Tolerance—Fact or Fiction, Diab. Med. 13, S6-S8.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Steele, B.W., Rochler, D.F., Azar, N.M., Blaszkowszki, T.B., Ruba, K., and Dempsey, M.E. (1976) Enzymatic Determination of Cholesterol in High Density Lipoprotein Fractions Prepared by a Precipitation Technique, Clin. Chem. 22, 98–102.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Romics, L., Szollár, L., and Zajkás, G. (1993) Management of Arteriosclerosis-related Lipid Metabolism Disorders. Recommendations of the Hungarian Lipid Consensus Conference [in Hungarian with English summary], Orv. Hetil. 134, 227–238.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Folch, J., Lees, M., and Sloane Stanley, G.H. (1957) A Simple Method for the Isolation and Purification of Total Lipids from Animal Tissues, J. Biol. Chem. 226, 497–509.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Stoffel, W., Chu, F., and Ahrens, E.H. (1959) Analysis of Long-Chain Fatty Acids by Gas-Liquid Chromatography, Anal. Chem. 31, 307–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Decsi, T., and Koletzko, B. (1994) Fatty Acid Composition of Plasma Lipid Classes in Healthy Subjects from Birth to Young Adulthood, Eur. J. Pediatr. 153, 520–525.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Cunnane, S.C., Manku, M.S., and Horrobin, D.F. (1985) Essential Fatty Acids in the Liver and Adipose Tissue of Genetically Obese Mice: Effect of Supplemental Linoleic and Gammalinolenic Acids, Br. J. Nutr. 53, 441–448.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Blond, J.-P., Henchiri, C., and Bézard, J. (1989) δ6 and δ5 Desaturase Activities in Liver from Obese Zucker Rats at Different Ages, Lipids 24, 389–395.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Guesnet, P., Bourre, J.-M., Guerre-Millo, M., Pascal, G., and Durand, G. (1990) Tissue Phospholipid Fatty Acid Composition in Genetically Lean (Fa/-) or Obese (fa/fa) Zucker Female Rats on the Same Diets, Lipids 25, 517–522.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Phinney, S.D., Fisler, J.S., Tang, A.B., and Warden, C.H. (1994) Liver Fatty Acid Composition Correlates with Body Fat and Sex in a Multigenic Mouse Model of Obesity. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 60, 61–67.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Clandinin, M.T., Cheema, S., Pehowich, D., and Field, C.J. (1996) Effect of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Obese Mice, Lipids 31, S13-S22.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Phinney, S.D. (1996) Arachidonic Acid Maldistribution in Obesity, Lipids 31, S271-S274.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Brenner, R.R. (1981) Nutritional and Hormonal Factors Influencing Desaturation of Essential Fatty Acids, Progr. Lipid Res. 20, 41–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Brenner, R.R. (1991) Endocrine Control of Fatty Acid Desaturation, Biochem. Soc. Trans. 18, 773–775.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Brenner, R.R. (1977) Regulatory Function of Delta-6-desaturase—Key Enzyme of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Synthesis, Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 83, 85–101.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Holman, R.T., Johnson, S.B., Gerrard, J.M., Mauer, S.M., Kupcho-Sandberg, S., and Brown, D.M. (1983) Arachidonic Acid Deficiency in Streptozocin-Induced Diabetes, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 80, 2375–2379.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Huang, Y.S., Horrobin, D.F., Manku, M.S., Mitchell, J., and Ryan, M.A. (1984) Tissue Phospholipid Fatty Acid Compsition in the Diabetic Rat, Lipids 19, 367–370.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Borkman, M., Storlien, L.H., Pan, D.A., Jenkins, A.B., Chisholm, D.J., and Campbell, L.V. (1993) The Relation Between Insulin Sensitivity and the Fatty Acid Composition of Skeletal-Muscle Phospholipids, N. Engl. J. Med. 328, 238–244.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Cunnane, S.C., Huang, Y.-S., and Manku, M.S. (1985) Triacylglycerol Content of Arachidonic Acid Varies Inversely with Total Triacylglycerol in Liver and Plasma, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 876, 183–186.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Decsi, T., Molnár, D., and Koletzko, B. (1998) The Effect of Under- and Overnutrition on Essential Fatty Acid Metabolism in Childhood, Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 52, 541–548.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Frelut, M.L., Therond, P., Camuso, M.C., Benali, K., Cathelineau, L., and Navarro, J. (1994) Inhibited Plasma Delta 6 Desaturase Activity and Abnormal Membrane Essential Fatty Acid Pattern in Obese Children. Impact of Weight Loss (abstract), Acta Paediatr. Hung. 34, 219.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Demmelmair, H., Sauerwald, T., Koletzko, B., and Richter, T. (1997) New Insights into Lipid and Fatty Acid Metabolism via Stable Isotopes, Eur. J. Pediatr. 156 Suppl. 1, S70-S74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Cho, H.P., Nakamura, M.T., and Clarke, S.D. (1999) Cloning, Expression, and Nutritional Regulation of the Mammalian Delta-6 Desaturase, J. Biol. Chem. 274, 471–477.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© AOCS Press 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tamás Decsi
    • 1
  • Györgyi Csabi
    • 1
  • Katalin Török
    • 1
  • Éva Erhardt
    • 1
  • Hajnalka Minda
    • 1
  • István Burus
    • 1
  • Szilárd Molnár
    • 1
  • Dénes Molnár
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of PécsPécsHungary

Personalised recommendations