Lipid Metabolism in Electroplax

Nora P. Rotstein, Hugo R. Arias, Marta I. Aveldaño, Francisco J. Barrantes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Abstract: The in vivo labeling of electrocyte lipids is followed after injection of radioactive glycerol and two fatty acids, oleate and arachidonate, into the electric organ of an elasmobranch (Discopyge tschudii). De novo synthesis of lipids and acyl‐exchange reactions are operative in the electrocyte. The three precursors are preferentially incorporated into phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylinositol, and triacylglycerols. The highest specific activities are attained by triacylglycerols and polyphosphoinositides. Electrocyte stacks from electric organ show an efficient and continuous esterification of oleate and arachidonate into lipids after several hours of incubation. Except for an apparently more active labeling of triacylglycerols, which is attributed to the larger availability of free fatty acid precursors under the in vitro experimental conditions, the pattern of lipid labeling is similar to that attained in vivo. 32P‐labeled lipids are also steadily produced in electrocyte stacks (24 h of incubation with [32P]phosphate) using glucose as the sole exogenous source of energy. Polyphosphoinositides are the lipids preferentially labeled. The ability to sustain the labeling of lipids under in vitro conditions renders isolated electrocyte stacks an interesting model for future research on lipid involvement in cholinergic function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1341-1347
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Arachidonic acid
  • Electroplax
  • Glycerol
  • Lipid labeling
  • Oleic acid
  • Phospholipids
  • Polyphosphoi nositides
  • Triacylglycerols
  • [P]Phosphate


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