Lipids

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 491–498

Correlation of fatty acid unsaturation of the major liver mitochondrial phospholipid classes in mammals to their maximum life span potential

  • Manuel Portero-Otín
  • Maria Josep Bellumunt
  • Maria Cristina Ruiz
  • Gustavo Barja
  • Reinald Pamplona
Articles

DOI: 10.1007/s11745-001-0748-y

Cite this article as:
Portero-Otín, M., Josep Bellumunt, M., Cristina Ruiz, M. et al. Lipids (2001) 36: 491. doi:10.1007/s11745-001-0748-y

Abstract

Free radical damage is considered a determinant factor in the rate of aging. Unsaturated fatty acids are the tissue macromolecules that are most sensitive to oxidative damage. Therefore, the presence of low proportions of fatty acid unsaturation is exprected in the tissues of long-lived animals. Accordingly, the fatty acid compositions of the major liver mitochondrial phospholipid classes from eight mammals, ranging in maximum life span potential (MLSP) from 3.5 to 46 yr, show that the total number of double bonds is inversely correlated with MLSP in both phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PtdEtn) (r=0.757, P<0.03, and r=0.862, P<0.006, respectively), but not in cardiolipin (P=0.323). This is due not to a low content of unsaturated fatty acids in long-lived animals, but mainly to a redistribution between kinds of fatty acids on PtdCho and PtdEtn, shifting from arachidonic (r=0.911, P<0.002, and r=0.681, P=0.05, respectively), docosahexaenoic (r=0.931 and r=0.965, P<0.0001, respectively) and palmitic (r=0.944 and r=0.974, P<0.0001, respectively) acids to linoleic acid (r=0.942, P<0.0001, for PtdCho; and r=0.957, P<0.0001, for PtdEtn). For cardiolipin, only arachidonic acid showed a significantly inverse correlation with MLSP (r=0.904, P<0.002). This pattern strongly suggests the presence of a species-specific desaturation pathway and deacylation-reacylation cycle in determining the mitochondrial membrane composition, maintaining a low degree of fatty acid unsaturation in long-lived animals.

Abbreviations

AA

arachidonic acid

ACL

average chain length

DBI

double bond index

DHA

docosahexaenoic acid

GC-MS

gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

LA

linoleic acid

MLSP

maximum life span potential

MSE

buffer, mannitol, sucrose, and EGTA at pH 7.4

MUFA

monounsaturated fatty acids

PtdCho

phosphatidylcholine

PtdEtn

phosphatidylethanolamine

PUFA

polyunsaturated fatty acid

SFA

saturated fatty acids

TLC

thin-layer chromatography

UFA

unsaturated fatty acids

Copyright information

© AOCS Press 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Portero-Otín
    • 1
  • Maria Josep Bellumunt
    • 1
  • Maria Cristina Ruiz
    • 1
  • Gustavo Barja
    • 1
  • Reinald Pamplona
    • 1
  1. 1.Metabolic Physiopathology Research Group, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of LleidaLleidaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Animal Biology II (Animal Physiology), Faculty of BiologyComplutense UniversityMadridSpain
  3. 3.Department Ciències Mèdiques Bàsiques, Facultat de MedicinaUniversitat de LleidaLleidaSpain

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