Butter-enriched diets reduce arterial prostacyclin production in rats Academic Article uri icon


  • Rats were fed diets containing 10%, 30% or 50% energy as fat derived predominantly from butter or lard. The protein content of the diets was maintained at 20%. After three weeks on the diets, the rats were killed and the following parameters measured: prostacyclin production in vitro from abdominal aorta and mesenteric artery; platelet aggregation to ADP and thrombin; fatty acid composition of the phospholipids in plasma, thoracic aorta and liver; smooth muscle reactivity and release of endothelial derived relaxing factor (EDRF) from aortic endothelium stimulated by acetylcholine. There was no significant effect of increasing fat content of the diets (neither lard nor butter) on platelet aggregation. In contrast, prostacyclin production in both the mesenteric artery and the abdominal aorta fell in a concentration-dependent manner in the butter-supplemented rats. However, no effect on prostacyclin production was detected in arteries from the lard-supplemented animals. The effects of the diets on prostacyclin (PGI2) production correlated very well with the changes in plasma, aortic and liver phospholipid arachidonic acid (AA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) contents. AA decreased in a concentration-dependent manner in the rats fed the butter-enriched diets but did not change in those fed the lard-enriched diets, whereas EPA rose in a concentration-dependent manner in the butter-fed rats and was unchanged in the lard-fed animals. The clear-cut effects of the butter-enriched diets on aortic phospholipid fatty acid composition and aortic PGI2 production were accompanied by a significant reduction in smooth muscle relaxation to EDRF.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


  • O'Dea, Kerin
  • Steel, Merryn
  • Naughton, Joan
  • Sinclair, Andrew
  • Hopkins, Grant
  • Angus, James
  • He, Guo-Wei
  • Niall, Margaret
  • Martin, TJ

publication date

  • March 1988

published in