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Meal fatty acids have been shown to modulate the size and composition of triacylglycerol (TAG)-rich lipoproteins influencing the magnitude and duration of the postprandial plasma TAG response. As a result there is considerable interest in the origin of these meal fatty-acid induced differences in particle composition. Caco-2 cells were incubated over 4 days with fatty acid mixtures resembling the composition of saturated (SFA), monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA)-rich meals fed in a previous postprandial study to determine their impact on lipoprotein synthesis and secretion. The MUFA- and PUFA-rich mixtures supported greater intracellular TAG, but not cholesterol accumulation compared with the SFA-rich mixture (P < 0.001). The MUFA-rich mixture promoted significantly greater TAG and cholesterol secretion than the other mixtures and significantly more apolipoprotein B-100 secretion than the PUFA-rich mixture (P < 0.05). Electron microscopy revealed the SFA-rich mixture had led to unfavourable effects on cellular morphology, compared with the unsaturated fatty acid-rich mixtures. Our findings suggest the MUFA-rich mixture, may support the formation of a greater number of TAG-rich lipoproteins, which is consistent with indirect observations from our human study. Our electron micrographs are suggestive that some endocytotic uptake of MUFA-rich taurocholate micelles may promote greater lipoprotein synthesis and secretion in Caco-2 cells. © 2009 AOCS.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1081 - 1089