The composition of saturated fatty acids in plasma phospholipids changes in a way to counteract changes in the mean melting point during pregnancy.

S.R. de Vriese, A.C. van Houwelingen, G. Hornstra, M. Dhont, A.B. Christophe

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Abstract

: Lipids 2001 Jan;36(1):15-20 Related Articles, Books, LinkOut


The composition of saturated fatty acids in plasma phospholipids changes in a way to counteract changes in the mean melting point during pregnancy.

De Vriese SR, Houwelingen AC, Hornstra G, Dhont M, Christophe AB.

Department of Internal Medicine, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium. Stephanie.DeVriese@rug.ac.be

It has been demonstrated that in pathological conditions with an increase in the calculated mean melting point (MMP) of phospholipid (PL) fatty acids (FA) there are changes in the composition of the saturated FA (SFA), which partially counteract this effect: shorter-chain SFA with lower melting points are increased, while longer-chain less fluid SFA are suppressed. The aim of this study was to determine whether there are differences in MMP during pregnancy and in the newborn and, if so, whether similar adaptive changes occur in the composition of the SFA. The FA composition of plasma PL was determined in healthy women (n = 16) twice during pregnancy (15-24 wk and 29-36 wk) and at delivery and in umbilical venous blood obtained at birth. The MMP of maternal PL was significantly higher at delivery compared to mid-gestation, due to a loss of highly unsaturated FA (HUFA) which were replaced by SFA. In addition, changes in the SFA occurred: 16:0 with lower melting point was higher while 18:0 with higher melting point was lower at delivery. MMP of PL FA in umbilical plasma was lower than in maternal plasma at delivery, which was due to higher HUFA content. In contrast to maternal plasma, 16:0 was lower while 18:0, 20:0, and 24:0 were higher in umbilical plasma resulting in a higher MMP of SFA, tending to raise the overall MMP. It can be concluded that, during pregnancy and in the newborn, the FA composition of SFA changes in a way to counteract changes in MMP induced by reduced and increased HUFA, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalLipids
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

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