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Membrane composition, particularly of mitochondria, could be a critical factor by determining the propagation of reactions involved in mitochondrial function during periods of high oxidative stress such as rapid growth and aging. Considering that phospholipids not only contribute to the structural and physical properties of biological membranes, but also participate actively in cell signaling and apoptosis, changes affecting either class or fatty acid compositions could affect phospholipid properties and, thus, alter mitochondrial function and cell viability. In the present study, heart and brain mitochondrial membrane phospholipid compositions were analyzed in rainbow trout during the four first years of life, a period characterized by rapid growth and a sustained high metabolic rate. Specifically, farmed fish of three ages (1-, 2- and 4-years) were studied, and phospholipid class compositions of heart and brain mitochondria, and fatty acid compositions of individual phospholipid classes were determined. Rainbow trout heart and brain mitochondria showed different phospholipid compositions (class and fatty acid), likely related to tissue-specific functions. Furthermore, changes in phospholipid class and fatty acid compositions with age were also tissue-dependent. Heart mitochondria had lower proportions of cardiolipin (CL), phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylinositol, and higher levels of phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) with age. Heart mitochondrial membranes became more unsaturated with age, with a significative increase of peroxidation index in CL, PS and sphingomyelin (SM). Therefore, heart mitochondria became more susceptible to oxidative damage with age. In contrast, brain mitochondrial PC and PS content decreased in 4-year-old animals while there was an increase in the proportion of SM. The three main phospholipid classes in brain (PC, PE and PS) showed decreased n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid and peroxidation index, which indicate a different response of brain mitochondrial lipids to rapid growth and maturation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Pedro F Almaida-Pagán, Jorge de Costa, Pilar Mendiola, Douglas R Tocher. Age-related changes in mitochondrial membrane composition of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) heart and brain. Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & molecular biology. 2012 Sep;163(1):129-37

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PMID: 22634369

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