Analysis of the toxic effects of linoleic acid, 12,13-cis-epoxyoctadecenoic acid, and 12,13-dihydroxyoctadecenoic acid in rabbit renal cortical mitochondria

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2001 Apr 15;172(2):150-61. doi: 10.1006/taap.2001.9149.


P450 epoxidation of linoleic acid has been associated with many pathological conditions that often lead to acute renal failure. However, there is only suggestive evidence that linoleic acid monoepoxides and/or linoleic diols directly induce mitochondrial dysfunction. Using isolated rabbit renal cortical mitochondria (RCM), we found that linoleic acid (50 microM) and the linoleic acid monoepoxide, cis-12,13-epoxy-9-octadecenoic acid (12,13-EOA, 50 microM) increased state 4 and oligomycin-insensitive respiration and reduced state 3 and oligomycin-sensitive respiration. Concomitant with these effects, linoleic acid and 12,13-EOA decreased mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsi). In contrast, the hydrolyzed product of 12,13-EOA, 12,13-dihydroxyoctadecenoic acid (12,13-DHOA, 50 microM), had no effect on state 3, state 4, oligomycin-sensitive, and oligomycin-insensitive respiration, and DeltaPsi. Neither linoleic acid or its metabolites altered uncoupled respiration, which suggests that these compounds have no affect on electron transport chain in RCM. Nucleotides such as ATP (0.5 mM) and GDP (0.5 mM) partially prevented the decrease in DeltaPsi but did not attenuate the increase in oligomycin-insensitive respiration after exposure to linoleic acid (50 microM) and 12,13-EOA (50 microM). These results demonstrate that linoleic acid metabolism to the 12,13-DHOA is a detoxification pathway that prevents mitochondrial dysfunction in RCM. The increase in state 4 respiration concomitant with decreases in state 3 respiration and DeltaPsi suggest that, in addition to uncoupling effects, linoleic acid and 12,13-EOA may have other effects, such as alterations of mitochondrial membranes. The inability of ATP and GDP to fully attenuate the uncoupling effects of linoleic acid and 12,13-EOA suggests that these effects are mediated through a nucleotide-independent mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Electron Transport / drug effects
  • Epoxide Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Female
  • Inactivation, Metabolic
  • Intracellular Membranes / drug effects
  • Intracellular Membranes / physiology
  • Kidney Cortex / drug effects*
  • Kidney Cortex / metabolism
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / metabolism
  • Linoleic Acid / pharmacology
  • Linoleic Acid / toxicity*
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / drug effects*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / physiology
  • Oleic Acids / pharmacology
  • Oleic Acids / toxicity*
  • Oligomycins / pharmacology
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Rabbits
  • Uncoupling Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Uncoupling Agents / pharmacology
  • Uncoupling Agents / toxicity


  • 12,13-dihydroxyoctadecenoic acid
  • 12,13-epoxy-9-octadecenoic acid
  • Oleic Acids
  • Oligomycins
  • Proteins
  • Uncoupling Agents
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Linoleic Acid
  • Epoxide Hydrolases