Glycerophospholipids are known to be hydrolyzed in the intestinal lumen into free fatty acids and lysophospholipids that are then absorbed by the intestinal epithelial cells. A monolayer of enterocyte-differentiated Caco-2 cell is often used to assess the intestinal bioavailability of nutrients. In this study, we examined how differentiated Caco-2 cells process lysoglycerolipids such as lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC). Our findings were twofold. (1) Caco-2 cells secreted both a lysophospholipase A-like enzyme and a glycerophosphocholine-phosphodiesterase enzyme into the apical, but not basolateral, lumen, suggesting that food-derived LPC is converted to a free fatty acid, sn-glycerol-3-phosphate, and choline through two sequential enzymatic reactions in humans. The release of the latter enzyme was differentiation-dependent. (2) Fatty acid-releasing activities toward exogenous fluorescent LPC, lysophosphatidic acid and monoacylglycerol were shown to be higher on the apical membranes of Caco-2 cells than on the basolateral membranes. These results suggest that human intestinal epithelial cells metabolize lysoglycerolipids by two distinct mechanisms involving secreted or apical-selective expression of metabolic enzymes.
Abnormal production of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), an important lysophospholipid mediator, in the kidney was examined to participate in the pathogenesis of renal fibrosis in rats. The secretory lysophospholipase D activity of autotoxin was considered as a possible pathway for extracellular production of LPA in the pathological renal fluids.
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