Incorporation of chylomicron fatty acids into the developing rat brain

Gregory J. Anderson, Patrick S. Tso, William E. Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The developing brain obtains polyunsaturated fatty acids from the circulation, but the mechanism and route of delivery of these fatty acids are undetermined. 14C-labeled chylomicrons were prepared by duodenal infusion of [1-14C]16:0, [1-14C]18:2(n-6), [1-14C]18:3(n-3), or [1-14C]22:6(n- 3) into adult donor rats, and were individually injected into hepatectomized 2-wk-old suckling rats. After minor correction for trapped blood in the brain, the incorporation of chylomicron fatty acids after 30 min was nearly half that of a coinjected free fatty acid reference. [1-14C]22:6(n-3)- labeled chylomicrons showed an average 65% greater incorporation than chylomicrons prepared from the other fatty acids. This apparent selectivity may have been partly due to lower oxidation of 22:6(n-3) in the brain compared to the other fatty acids tested, based on recovered water-soluble oxidation products. The bulk of the radioactivity in the brain was found in phospholipid and triacylglycerol, except that animals injected with [1- 14C]22:6(n-3) chylomicrons showed considerable incorporation also into the fatty acid fraction instead of triacylglycerol. These data show that chylomicrons may be an important source of fatty acids for the developing rat brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2764-2767
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • brain
  • chylomicrons
  • docosahexaenoic acid
  • linoleic acid
  • linolenic acid
  • palmitic acid
  • rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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