Turnover of nonessential fatty acids in cardiolipin from the rat heart

J Lipid Res. 2011 Dec;52(12):2226-2233. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M015966. Epub 2011 Sep 27.


Cardiolipin (CL) is a unique phospholipid (PL) found in the mitochondria of mammalian cells. CL remodeling is accompanied by turnover of its fatty acid acyl groups. Abnormalities in CL remodeling have been found in Barth's syndrome, diabetes, and obesity. The objective of this study was to determine nonessential fatty acid turnover in CL and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) in the rat heart in vivo. Sprague-Dawley rats were fed either a regular chow or a high-fat diet for 15 weeks, and consumed 6% deuterium-enriched drinking water as a tracer for 14 days. CL and PE were extracted from cardiac tissue and isolated by TLC. Fatty acids from CL, PE, and plasma were analyzed by GC/MS for deuterium incorporation. Results showed oleate and vaccenate turnover were the highest in CL whereas palmitate and stearate turnover were low. Among the nonessential fatty acids in PE, turnover of stearate and vaccenate were the highest. The high turnover rate in vaccenate was unexpected, because vaccenate previously had no known metabolic or physiologic function. In conclusion, the similarly high turnover rates of both oleate and vaccenate readily suggest that remodeling is an important functional aspect of PL metabolism in CL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cardiolipins / chemistry*
  • Cardiolipins / metabolism*
  • Deuterium / chemistry
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Acetates
  • Cardiolipins
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines
  • phosphatidylethanolamine
  • Deuterium