The lipid composition of selected tissues from a Mediterranean monk seal, Monachus monachus

TitleThe lipid composition of selected tissues from a Mediterranean monk seal, Monachus monachus
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsHenderson, RJ, Kalogeropoulos N, Alexis MN
JournalLipids
Volume29
Issue8
Pages577 - 582
Abstract

The lipid composition of blubber, brain, muscle and heart from a Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus (an endangered species) were examined to allow comparisons with more common species of seals. Only neutral lipids (mainly triacylglycerols) were detectable in the blubber lipids, whereas polar lipids predominated in the heart and in the brain. Neutral and polar lipids comprised almost equal proportions in both liver and muscle. Choline glycerophospholipids (CGP) were the major polar lipids, followed by ethanolamine glycerophospholipids (EGP) in the liver, heart and muscle. Cerebrosides accounted for 28.8% of the brain lipids. All lipid classes of the liver contained high levels (31-17%) of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), with the exception of phosphatidylserine. The total proportion of n- 6 PUFA exceeded that of n-3 PUFA in all lipid classes of the liver, due mainly to the high levels of 20:4n-6. The highest level of 20:4n-6 occurred in phosphatidylinositol, where it comprised 32.4% of the total fatty acids. The CGP and EGP of the brain contained lower levels of PUFA than those of the liver, muscle and heart. Alkenyl others accounted for 35.8% of the total long-chain moieties in brain EGP. The fatty acid composition of blubber triacylglycerols differed from those of the lipid classes from other tissues in that it had a very low ratio of n-6 to n-3 PUFA (0.3) as a result of a lower content of 20:4n-6.

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