Development of an in vitro model of essential fatty acid deficiency in fish cells


Tocher DR, Dick JR & Sargent JR (1995) Development of an in vitro model of essential fatty acid deficiency in fish cells. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 53 (5), pp. 365-375.

Levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5, n-3) greatly exceed those of arachidonic acid (AA; 20:4, n-6) in the tissue phospholipids of most fish species. Despite this, it is 20:4, n-6-derived eicosanoids that are produced predominantly in fish cells. The development of an essential fatty acid (EFA)-deficient fish cell line would greatly assist the study of this selectivity and so several fish cell lines were cultured in EFA-deficient (EFAD) media. All n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and total PUFA were considerably reduced in all lines, except turbot fin (TF) in which total n-9 PUFA doubled from 13.8% to 27.5% of total fatty acids. In the topminnow hepatocarcinoma cell line (PLHC-1), there was almost complete depletion of both n-3 and n-6 PUFA and in TF cells, no n-3 PUFA were detected. In the carp epithelial papilloma cell line (EPC), both n-6 and n-3 PUFA were reduced by approximately 70%. The reduced PUFA in cells cultured in EFAD media was compensated to a large extent in most cell lines by significantly increased percentages of monounsaturated fatty acids, particularly 18:1, n-9. Total n-9 PUFA were significantly increased in all cell lines by culture in EFAD media, with 20:2, n-9 significantly increased in all cell lines. There were relatively small increases, but often significant, in 20:3, n-9 in all cell lines. Of the cell lines investigated, only EPC and PLHC-1 showed proliferation after four passages in EFAD medium, although the growth rates were reduced in comparison with media supplemented with serum, but EPC was the only cell line able to survive and proliferate in long-term culture on EFAD medium. The EFAD-EPC line is a potentially useful model system for the study of the effects of EFA deficiency on cell structure and function and eicosanoid metabolism in fish.

Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids: Volume 53, Issue 5

Publication date30/11/1995