Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research

Differences in the fatty acid composition of fatty acid ethyl esters in organs and their secretions.

PMID 11045855


Fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) are nonoxidative ethanol metabolites that have been shown to be long term markers of ethanol intake and have been implicated as mediators of ethanol-induced cell injury. Previous studies have indicated that the fatty acid composition of the FAEE found in the plasma of human subjects after ethanol ingestion is predominantly ethyl palmitate and ethyl oleate. This raised the possibility that there is some selectivity toward the fatty acid used for FAEE to be exported from the liver into the blood. To address the hypothesis that the fatty acid composition of FAEE secreted from organs, such as the liver and pancreas, differs from the fatty acid composition of FAEE in the organs, this study was performed using rats that received ethanol by intra-arterial infusion. It was found that the fatty acids in FAEE differed significantly in plasma versus liver, bile versus liver, and pancreatic secretions versus pancreas. These results indicate that organs selectively export certain FAEE species.