Effect of soybean oil and soybean lecithin on intestinal lipid composition and lipid droplet accumulation of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum
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Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum) were fed purified diets containing fish oil for six weeks and then soybean lecithin or soybean oil for 25 days. The gastrointestinal tract segments, stomach, midgut and hindgut were then sampled for lipid and fatty acid composition and electron microscopy. Membrane lipid class composition was fairly similar in all three segments of trout fed fish oil. Hindgut contained slightly more phosphatidylserine than stomach and midgut, while midgut contained more phosphatidylcholine and less lysophospatidylcholine/sphingomyelin. Feeding soybean products appeared to marginally decrease free cholesterol. The fatty acid compositions of the main lipid classes showed significant regional differences. In control fish, stomach had higher levels of arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids than midgut and hindgut, and lower content of docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3) and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Midgut phosphatidylethanolamine also had higher levels of saturated fatty acids and less n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids than the other tissues. Feeding soybean products decreased the n-3/n-6 ratio mainly due to increases in linoleic (18:2n-6) and 20:4n-6 and decreases in 22:6n-3 and eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3). Phosphatidylcholine and to a lesser extent phosphatidylethanolamine adapted more readily to dietary changes by major increases in 18:2n-6 and C20−22 n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The composition of phosphatidyl-serine and -inositol appeared to be under more strict metabolic control. Linoleic acid hardly increased at all while the increase in other n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids was less pronounced than for the other lipid classes. Regardless of lipid class, stomach resisted dietary changes more strongly than midgut and hindgut. Increases in n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids were minor as were the loss of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The dead-end product 20:2n-6 accumulated to a higher degree in hindgut phosphatidyl-ethanolamine and -coline compared to midgut and stomach, suggesting that the activity of Δ6 desaturation is higher in the anterior part of the intestine where most of the lipid is absorbed. Feeding soybean oil caused massive accumulation of free lipid droplets in midgut enterocytes while little lipid droplets were observed in trout fed fish oil or soybean lecithin. Since both soybean products influenced intestinal composition to the same degree, altered fatty acid profiles in membranes is not responsible for the observed lipid accumulation. This supports previous observations in Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.), suggesting that fish may require exogenous phospholipids in order to sustain a sufficient rate of lipoprotein synthesis.
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