Biochemical and ultra-structural reactions to parenteral nutrition with two different fat emulsions in rats

Research paper by B. Roth, M. Ekelund, B. G. Fan, I. Hägerstrand, A. Salehi, I. Lundquist, P. Nilsson-Ehle

Indexed on: 27 Dec '13Published on: 27 Dec '13Published in: Intensive Care Medicine


Objective: To compare the effects on fat metabolism and Kupffer cell morphology by total parenteral nutrition (TPN) with two different fat emulsions.Design: Thirty-two male Sprague-Dawley rats, divided into three groups, were investigated. Rats fed orally were used as a reference group, and a group of rats receiving TPN with fat emulsions containing pure long-chain triglycerides (LCT) was compared to a group of rats receiving fat emulsions containing both long-chain triglycerides and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT/LCT). The TPN regimens were equicaloric and administered continuously via a jugular catheter for 10 days.Interventions: After suffocation, blood of the rats was collected for the determination of serum lipids. Epididymal fat and heart were collected for the analysis of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activities, and liver specimens were saved for analyses of hepatic triglyceride concentration, as well as activities of hepatic lipase (HL) and lysosomal enzymes. Light and electron microscopy were used for examination of the Kupffer cell reaction.Results: Directly after termination of parenteral feeding, the levels of serum triglycerides and high density lipoprotein (HDL) triglycerides were higher in the MCT/LCT group than in the LCT group, while no differences concerning cholesterol and phospholipid concentrations were found. No significant difference in liver steatosis was found between the two TPN groups. Comparison of the TPN groups showed that the MCT/ LCT group had significantly decreased LPL activity in adipose tissue, while the LCT group had significantly increased LPL activity in the heart. The activity of HL was low in both groups, but significantly lower in the LCT group. Lipid accumulation and an increased number of lysosomes were found in all Kupffer cell when TPN with LCT emulsions was used. Moreover, TPN induced a pronounced increase in various liver lysosomal enzyme activities, but there was no notable difference between LCT and MCT/LCT effects.Conclusions: Compared to treatment with pure LCT emulsions, treatment with MCT/LCT emulsions evoked weaker biochemical reactions in terms of lower activity of lipoprotein lipase in fat and heart together with higher serum and HDL triglyceride levels. Morphological signs of increased Kupffer cell activity such as the appearance of multiple lysosomes and fat vacuoles in the cytoplasm followed treatment with pure LCT emulsions. However, both TPN groups showed a marked increase in activities of liver lysosomal enzymes.