Cellular toxicity of dietary trans fatty acids and its correlation with ceramide and diglyceride accumulation

Farkas Sarnyai, Mária Berinkeiné Donkó, Judit Mátyási, Zsófia Gór-Nagy, Ildikó Marczi, Laura Simon-Szabó, Veronika Zámbó, Anna Somogyi, Tamás Csizmadia, Péter Lőw, Péter Szelényi, Éva Kereszturi, Blanka Tóth, Miklós Csala

Research output: Article

4 Citations (Scopus)


High fatty acid (FA) levels are deleterious to pancreatic β-cells, largely due to the accumulation of biosynthetic lipid intermediates, such as ceramides and diglycerides, which induce ER stress and apoptosis. Toxicity of palmitate (16:0) and oleate (18:1 cis-Δ 9 ) has been widely investigated, while very little data is available on the cell damages caused by elaidate (18:1 trans-Δ 9 ) and vaccenate (18:1 trans-Δ 11 ), although the potential health effects of these dietary trans fatty acids (TFAs) received great publicity. We compared the effects of these four FAs on cell viability, apoptosis, ER stress, JNK phosphorylation and autophagy as well as on ceramide and diglyceride contents in RINm5F insulinoma cells. Similarly to oleate and unlike palmitate, TFAs reduced cell viability only at higher concentration, and they had mild effects on ER stress, apoptosis and autophagy. Palmitate increased ceramide and diglyceride levels far more than any of the unsaturated fatty acids; however, incorporation of TFAs in ceramides and diglycerides was strikingly more pronounced than that of oleate. This indicates a correlation between the accumulation of lipid intermediates and the severity of cell damage. Our findings reveal important metabolic characteristics of TFAs that might underlie a long term toxicity and hence deserve further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-335
Number of pages12
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - febr. 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Toxicology

Cite this

Sarnyai, F., Donkó, M. B., Mátyási, J., Gór-Nagy, Z., Marczi, I., Simon-Szabó, L., Zámbó, V., Somogyi, A., Csizmadia, T., Lőw, P., Szelényi, P., Kereszturi, É., Tóth, B., & Csala, M. (2019). Cellular toxicity of dietary trans fatty acids and its correlation with ceramide and diglyceride accumulation. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 124, 324-335. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2018.12.022