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Open Access Physiologic Melatonin Concentration, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Conjugated Linoleic Acid Inhibit Fatty Acid Transport in Rodent Hind Limb Skeletal Muscle In Vivo

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Melatonin (MLT), the circadian neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland in mammals during darkness, eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) have established regulatory roles in cancer growth. Investigations in our laboratory have indicated that these agents inhibit fatty acid (FA) transport by tumors and several sub-types of white adipose tissue via inhibitory G protein-coupled receptor mechanisms. Skeletal muscle constitutes over 45% of human body mass and plays an important role in cancer cachexia and obesity-related diseases. Since fatty acid oxidation is a major source of energy for this tissue, we tested the hypothesis that physiologic MLT levels, EPA, or CLA injected intravenously, inhibit FA uptake in rat skeletal muscle in vivo. We used a surgical technique for catheterizing the femoral vein in rats that allows rapid blood collection from the entire hind limb, while ensuring continuous blood flow to the tissue. Blood acid/gas tensions and hematocrit were monitored and remained constant during the course of each experiment. The MLT, EPA, and CLA inhibited FA uptake by the tissue and lowered cAMP values. Glucose uptake and glycerol production in the hind limb were not affected. These investigations suggest a novel role for MLT, omega-3 FAs, and CLA in the regulation of FA transport and fat metabolism in skeletal muscle.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratory of Experimental Neuroendocrinology/Oncology, Bassett Research Institute, Cooperstown, New York 13326-1394

Publication date: April 1, 2003

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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