Formation and deposition of fatty acids in carp maintained on diets differing in total fat as well as linolenic acid content was investigated by following the incorporation of (1-14C)-acetate into liver total- and phospholipid fatty acids at two extreme temperatures (5° and 25°C). Excess dietary linolenic acid was deposited in triglycerides but not in phospholipids. The formation and level of phospholipid docosahexenoic acid was, however, dependent on the amount of linolenic acid in the diet. Despite the vast quantities of ingested linolenic acid, the carp on diets containing sufficient essential fatty acid maintained similar membrane fluidities as judged from the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acids. Decrease of the environmental temperature brought about a reduction in the rate of formation of palmitic acid and an increase in the rate of formation of docosahexenoic acid in carp receiving sufficient essential fatty acid. Consequently, the level of palmitic acid decreased and that of docosahexenoic acid increased in the liver phospholipids in carp and a number of other fish species. Essential fatty acid deficient carp were unable to increase the rate of production of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids upon exposure to cold. The results are discussed from the point of view of adaptation of membrane fluidity to the temperature by fish, and the importance of docosahexenoic acid in this process is emphasized.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science