1. The fatty acid composition in platelet phospholipids and in the plasma lipid esters as well as the serum lipoprotein lipid concentrations were determined in 67 healthy male subjects in order to establish the relationships between blood lipids and platelets.
2. A positive correlation was found between the concentrations of the triglyceride rich serum lipoprotein lipids and the relative percentage of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids in plasma. The correlations were also positive between the serum high density lipoprotein-cholesterol concentration and the relative content of linoleic acid in the plasma cholesterol esters and phospholipids.
3. Negative correlations were found between the relative percentage of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids in the plasma lipid esters versus linoleic acid in plasma and in the platelets. On the other hand there were positive correlations between linoleic acid in the plasma lipid esters and in the platelet phospholipids. These results indicate a direct dietary influence on the platelet phospholipid fatty acid composition.
4. The correlations between the fatty acids of the n −6 series within plasma and platelets as well as between plasma and platelets indicate that a high linoleic acid content is not associated with an increased arachidonic acid concentration. The results also indicate that the limiting metabolic step in the conversion of linoleic acid into arachidonic acid may be located at different levels in plasma and in the platelets.