Elmes, M., Tew, P., Cheng, Z., Kirkup, S.E., Abayasekara, D.R., Calder, P.C., Hanson, M.A., Wathes, D.C. and Burdge, G.C.
The effect of dietary supplementation with linoleic acid to late gestation ewes on the fatty acid composition of maternal and fetal plasma and tissues and the synthetic capacity of the placenta for 2-series prostaglandins
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids, 1686, (1-2), . (doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2004.09.004).
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Linoleic acid (18:2n-6) is metabolised to arachidonic acid (20:4n-6), the precursor for 2-series prostaglandins (PGs). Increased consumption of 18:2n-6 during pregnancy may thus modify PG synthesis during labour. We have investigated whether increased 18:2n-6 composition during gestation altered the fatty acid consumption and PG synthesis of maternal and fetal tissues in the sheep. Ewes were fed a control diet or a diet providing 40% more 18:2n-6 from 96 days gestation. Half of each group received dexamethasone on day 136 to up-regulate the PG synthetic pathways promoting parturition. Maternal and fetal tissues were collected at 138 days. The 18:2n-6 diet significantly increased the 20:4n-6 content of maternal plasma, fetal plasma and allantochorion (51–81%) phosphatidylcholine, and fetal liver (40%) and maternal caruncular endometrium (57%) phosphatidylethanolamine. Increased 18:2n-6 intake increased production of PGF2? and PGE2 in all placental tissues (maternal caruncular and intercaruncular endometrium and fetal allantochorion) by 23–98%, whereas dexamethasone increased it by 32–142%. This suggests that consumption of an 18:2n-6-enriched diet in late pregnancy enhanced placental PG production by increasing the supply of 20:4n-6. Variations in the extent to which the diet altered the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content of the different tissues indicated complex interactions between nutrient availability and metabolic adaptation.
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