The effects of two monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) oils, olive oil (OO)and high-oleic sunflower oil (HOSO), with high content in oleic acid butdiffering in their non-fatty acid fraction, on brush-border membrane(BBM) lipid composition and fluidity and on mucosal enzyme activitiesof rat jejunum were studied. Animals were given semipurified diet withlinoleic acid to prevent essential fatty acid deficiency (control group)or semipurified diet containing 10% of either OO or HOSO for 12weeks. There was a significant decrease in the content of jejunalBBM phospholipids together with an increase in the level of freecholesterol in both oil-fed rats, when compared to controlgroup. Although the increase in the BBM free cholesterol levelwas not statistically significant in HOSO-fed rats, a significantdecrease in the phospholipid/free cholesterol ratio was found inboth OO and HOSO-fed animals compared to control group. Rat jejunalBBM had a high level of free fatty acids which was increased in BBMisolated from OO and HOSO-fed animals. There was no statisticalsignificant difference in the phospholipid distribution between thecontrol and the OO group. However, HOSO-fed animals showed the lowestlevel of phosphatidylethanolamine together with the highestphosphatidylcholine content and the phosphatidylcholine/sphingomyelinratio. The fatty acid pattern of jejunal BBM lipids was modifiedaccording to the major fatty acids in the oils. There was a decreasein both stearic acid (18:0) and linoleic acid (18:2 n-6), togetherwith an increase in oleic acid (18:1 n-9) in jenunal BBM isolatedfrom both oil experimental groups. All these results were accompaniedby a significant increase in the BBM fluidity (as assessed bysteady-state fluorescence polarization of diphenylhexatriene) isolatedfrom oil-fed rat, when compared to control group. OO and HOSO-fedanimals had the lowest activities of sucrase and maltase, whilealkaline phosphatase activity only was decreased in HOSO-fedanimals. The specific activity of maltase was not modified in anyexperimental rats. In summary, both MUFA oils induced similar effectson jejunal BBM lipid composition, fluidity, sucrase, maltase andlactase activities. Furthermore, HOSO intake resulted in a lowestalkaline phosphatase activity which was accompanied by changes inindividual phospholipid composition. All these results suggest thateffects of MUFA oils on jejunal BBM lipid composition and hydrolaseactivities are most likely due to the presence of high content ofoleic acid rather than other components contained in the non-fattyacid of olive oil.

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