The liver of bovine animals possesses a low ability to secrete triglycerides (TG) as part of the very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) compared with rat liver. We compared hepatic fatty acid (FA) metabolism between rat and calf in order to determine the limiting steps of TG-VLDL secretion in bovine animals. Liver slices from young Sprague-Dawley rats and preruminant Holstein X Friesian calves were incubated for 7 h with increasing concentrations (0.1, 0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 mM) of [14C]oleate. The oxidation of oleate to CO2 and acidsoluble products was 2- to 3-fold higher in rat than in calf liver slices. Since oleate uptake was 2-fold higher in rat than in calf, the oxidation rate represented 20–29% of oleate uptake in both animal species. Oleate was essentially incorporated into the neutral lipids (75–87% of total lipids) that were stored mainly in the cytosol in both animal species (81–90% of neutral lipids). The accumulation of neutral lipids in the cytosol was 3.4-fold higher while VLDL secretion was 6- to 18-fold more efficient in rat than in calf liver slices. Our results indicate that the slow rate of VLDL secretion by bovine liver is probably due to the limited availability of TG for VLDL packaging rather than to the preferential oxidation of FA.
Keywords: calf; fatty acid metabolism; liver; rat; VLDL secretion
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