Changes in renal phospholipid fatty acids in diabetes mellitus: Correlation with changes in adenylate cyclase activity

Daniel L. Clark, F. G. Hamel, Sherry F. Queener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Male Sprague-Dawley rats made diabetic with alloxan (37.5 mg/kg) or streptozotocin (65 mg/kg) were killed after 3-6 weeks of disease; renal tissues were studied for phospholipid content and for fatty acid composition of the phospholipids. No consistent change was noted in total phospholipid content nor in the proportion of various phospholipids in diabetics. However, diabetic animals showed a consistent reduction of arachidonic acid content in phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine in whole renal cortex, plasma membranes purified from renal cortex, and in isolated glomeruli. Associated with the fall in arachidonic acid was a rise in linoleic acid in the samples studied. Insulin therapy returned the fatty acid profiles to normal. These results are similar to patterns observed in other diabetic tissues and suggest that diabetes is associated with generalized changes in cell membranes. That these structural changes may have functional significance is suggested by demonstrated alterations in the temperature-dependence of adenylate cyclase in renal plasma membranes of diabetic animals. Adenylate cyclase is thought to be intimately associated with PC in plasma membranes, a phospholipid showing significant changes in fatty acid content in diabetes (unsaturation index 165±2 for normals, 147±5 for diabetics). Na+,K au+-ATPase which is thought to be primarily associated in vivo with phosphatidylinositol (PI), shows no change in apparent energy of activation in diabetes. The fatty acid content of PI is minimally altered in diabetes, and the unsaturation index is unchanged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-705
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology


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