The Role of Punicic Acid (c9t11c13-CLNA) in Lipid and Energy Metabolism of Mice
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Human Nutrition Honors Theses; 2009
Punicic acid (c9t11c13-CLNA) is a conjugated linolenic fatty acid found at 72% concentration in pomegranate seed oil. While research has elucidated the positive health benefits of punicic acid’s metabolite, c9t11-CLA, little is known about the physiological effects of punicic acid (PA). This senior honors research thesis aims to elucidate how punicic acid alters fat and energy metabolism in a mouse model. Male C57Bl6 mice were fed diets of 0% PA, 1% PA, or 2% PA for 4 or 16 weeks. We measured the extent to which punicic acid affected weight gain, food intake, food efficiency, insulin sensitivity, and fatty acid composition in mice. Diets containing increased levels of punicic acid resulted in a dose-responsive accumulation of conjugated linolenic acid in skeletal muscle, liver, and epididymal adipose tissues. In an effort to determine if punicic acid altered genes responsive to peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ), I investigated how punicic acid alters the expression of genes involved in lipid and energy metabolism. Levels of mRNA of AP2 (FABP4), UCP1, and PPARγ were not significantly altered in epididymal fat by dietary treatments during the 16-week feeding study, while expression of UCP2 was significantly increased in mice fed the 2% PA diet. It remains to be determined if punicic acid serves as a weak ligand for PPARγ. Understanding the mechanism of punicic acid and its effects on energy metabolism may ultimately improve recommendations for those battling obesity or the numerous diseases associated with it.