Skip to main content
Log in

Differential distribution and metabolism of arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid by human placental choriocarcinoma (BeWo) cells

Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

The time course of incorporation of [14C]arachidonic acid and [3H]docosahexaenoic acid into various lipid fractions in placental choriocarcinoma (BeWo) cells was investigated. BeWo cells were found to rapidly incorporate exogenous [14C]arachidonic acid and [3H] docosahexaenoic acid into the total cellular lipid pool. The extent of docosahexaenoic acid esterification was more rapid than for arachidonic acid, although this difference abated with time to leave only a small percentage of the fatty acids in their unesterified form. Furthermore, uptake was found to be saturable. In the cellular lipids these fatty acids were mainly esterified into the phospholipid (PL) and the triacyglycerol (TAG) fractions. Smaller amounts were also detected in the diacylglycerol and cholesterol ester fractions. Almost 60% of the total amount of [3H]Docosahexaenoic acid taken up by the cells was esterified into TAG whereas 37% was in PL fractions. For arachidonic acid the reverse was true, 60% of the total uptake was incorporated into PL fractions whereas less than 35% was in TAG. Marked differences were also found in the distribution of the fatty acids into individual phospholipid classes. The higher incorporation of docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid was found in PC and PE, respectively. The greater cellular uptake of docosahexaenoic acid and its preferential incorporation in TAG suggests that both uptake and transport modes of this fatty acid by the placenta to fetus is different from that of arachidonic acid.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

References

  1. Innis SM: Essential fatty acids in growth and development. Prog Lipid Res 3: 39–103, 1986

    Google Scholar 

  2. Uauy R, Hoffman DR: Essential fatty acid requirements for normal eye and brain development. Semin Perinatol 15: 449–455, 1991

    Google Scholar 

  3. Crawford MA, Hassam AG, Stevens PA: Essential fatty acid requirements in pregnancy and lactation with special references to brain development. Prog Lipid Res 20: 30–40, 1981

    Google Scholar 

  4. Dutta-Roy AK: Insulin mediated processes in platelets, monocytes/macrophages and erythrocytes: Effects of essential fatty acid metabolism. Prost Leuk Essutl Fatty Acids 51: 385–399, 1994

    Google Scholar 

  5. Kuhn H, Crawford M: Placental essential fatty acid transport and prostaglandin synthesis. Prog Lipid Res 25: 345–353, 1986

    Google Scholar 

  6. Uauy R, Treen M, Hoffman D: Essential fatty acids requirements during development. Semin Perinatol 13: 118–130, 1989

    Google Scholar 

  7. Yavin E, Green P: Distribution, processing and selective esterification of essential fatty acid metabolises in the fetal brain. In: V Galli, AP Simopoulos, E Tremoli (eds). Fatty Acids and Lipids: Biological Aspects, World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics. Basel, Krager, 1994, pp 134–138

    Google Scholar 

  8. Neuringer M, Connor WE, Lin DS, Barstad L, Luck, SJ: Biochemical and functional effects of prenatal and postnatal omega-3 fatty acid deficiency on retina and brain in Rhesus monkeys. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 83: 285–294, 1986

    Google Scholar 

  9. Anderson GJ: Developmental sensitivity of the brain to dietary n-3 fatty acids. J Lipid Res 35: 105–111, 1994

    Google Scholar 

  10. Ruyle M, Connor WE, Anderson GJ, Lowensohn RI: Placental transfer of essential fatty acids in humans: Venous-arterial differences for docosahexaenoic acid in umbilical erythrocytes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 87: 7902–7906, 1990

    Google Scholar 

  11. Dutta-Roy AK, Campbell FM, Taffesse S, Gordon MJ: Transport of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids across the human placenta: Role of fatty acid-binding proteins. In: YS Huang, D Mills, (eds). γ Linolenic Acid: Metabolism and Its role in nutrition and medicine. AOCS Press, New York 1996 pp 42–53

    Google Scholar 

  12. Stephenson TJ, Stammers JP, Hull D: Maternal to fetal transfer of free fatty acids in the in situ perfused rabbit placenta. J Dev Physiol 13: 117–123, 1990

    Google Scholar 

  13. Benassayag C, Mignot TM, Haourigui M, Cive C, Hassid J, Carbonne B, Nunez EA, Ferre F: High polyunsaturated fatty acids, thromboxane A2, and alpha-fetoprotein concentrations at the human feto-maternal interface. J Lipid Res 38: 276–286, 1997

    Google Scholar 

  14. Coleman RA: The role of the placenta in lipid metabolism and transport. Semin Perinatol 13: 180–191, 1989

    Google Scholar 

  15. Gordon, MJ, Campbell FM, Sattar N, Dutta-Roy AK: Interaction of plasma free fatty acids of pregnant mothers with the membrane fatty acid-binding protein of the human placenta. Prost Leuk Essntl Fatty Acids 57: p232, 1997 (abst.)

  16. Campbell FM, Gordon MJ, Dutta-Roy AK: Plasma membrane fatty acid-binding protein (FABPpm) from the sheep placenta. Biochim Biophys Acta 1214: 187–192, 1994

    Google Scholar 

  17. Campbell FM, Gordon MJ, Dutta-Roy AK: Plasma membrane fatty acidbinding protein from human placenta: Identification and characterisation. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 209: 1011–1017, 1995

    Google Scholar 

  18. Campbell FM, Dutta-Roy AK: Plasma membrane fatty acid-binding protein (FABPpm) is exclusively located in the maternal facing membranes of the human placenta. FEBS Lett 375: 227–230, 1995

    Google Scholar 

  19. Campbell FM, Gordon MJ, Dutta-Roy AK: Preferential uptake of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids by isolated human placental membranes. Mol Cell Biochem 155: 77–83, 1996

    Google Scholar 

  20. Campbell FM, Gordon MJ, Dutta-Roy AK: Preferential binding of long chain fatty acids by the purified membrane fatty acid-binding protein of the human placenta. Prost Leuk Essntl Fatty Acids 57: pp 232, 1997 (abst.)

    Google Scholar 

  21. Campbell FM, Clohessy AM, Gordon MJ, Page KR, Dutta-Roy AK (1997) Preferential uptake of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids by human placental choriocarcinoma (BeWo) cells: Role of plasma membrane fatty acid-binding protein. J Lipid Res 38, 2558–2568

    Google Scholar 

  22. Dutta-Roy AK: Transfer of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids across the human placenta. Prenat Neonat Med 2, 101–107, 1997

    Google Scholar 

  23. Wice B, Menton D, Geuze H, Schwartz AL: Modulators of cyclic AMP metabolism induce syncytiotrophoblast formation in vitro. Exptl Cell Res 186: 306–316, 1990

    Google Scholar 

  24. Gafvels ME, Coukos G, Sayegh R, Coutifaris C, Strickland DK, Strauss JF: Regulated expression of the trophoblast alpha-2-macroglobulin receptor low-density lipoprotein receptorrelated protein differentiation and cAMP modulate protein and messenger RNA levels. J Biol Chem 267: 21230–21234, 1992

    Google Scholar 

  25. Dutta-Roy AK: Transport mechanisms for long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids across the human placenta. Am J Clin Nutr (in the press)

  26. Dutta-Roy AK: Fatty acid transport and metabolism in the fetoplacental unit and the role of fatty acid-binding proteins. J Nutr Biochem 8: 548–557, 1997

    Google Scholar 

  27. Schurer NY, Stremmel W, Grundmann J-U, Schliep V, Kleinert H, Bass NM, Williams ML: Evidence for a novel keratinocyte fatty acid uptake mechanism with preference for linoleic acid: Comparison of oleic acid uptake by cultured human keratinocytes, Fibroblasts and a human hepatoma cell line. Biochim Biophys Acta 1211: 51–60, 1994

    Google Scholar 

  28. Bradford MM: A rapid method for the determination of the microgramme quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Anal Biochem 72: 248–254, 1976

    Google Scholar 

  29. Thigh BE, Dyer WJ: A rapid method of total lipid extraction and purification. Canad J Biochem Physiol 37: 911–917, 1959

    Google Scholar 

  30. Korte K, Casey ML: Phospholipid and neutral lipid separation by onedimensional thin layer chromatography. J Chromat 232, 47–53, 1982

    Google Scholar 

  31. Delton I, Gharib A, Moliere P, Lagarde M, Sarda N: Distribution and metabolism of arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids in rat pineal cells: Effects of norepinephrine. Biochim Biophys Acta 1254: 147–154, 1995

    Google Scholar 

  32. Chen H, Anderson RE: Differential incorporation of docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acids in frog retinal pigment epithelium. J Lipid Res 34: 1943–1955, 1993

    Google Scholar 

  33. Onuma Y, Masuazawa Y, Ishima Y, Waku K: Selective incorporation of docosahexaenoic acid in rat brain. Biochim Biophys Acta 793: 80–85, 1984

    Google Scholar 

  34. Bazan NG, Reddy ST, Bazan HEP, Birkle DL: Metabolism of arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids in the retina. Prog Lipid Res. 25: 595–606, 1986

    Google Scholar 

  35. Litman BJ, Mitchell DC: A role for phospholipid polyunsaturation in modulating membrane protein function. Lipids 31: S19–S197, 1996

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Crabtree, J.T., Gordon, M.J., Campbell, F.M. et al. Differential distribution and metabolism of arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid by human placental choriocarcinoma (BeWo) cells. Mol Cell Biochem 185, 191–198 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006852230337

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006852230337

Navigation