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Previous experiments demonstrated the ability-of a gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) dietary supplementation (as evening primrose oil — EPO) to counteract the fall off in delta-6-desaturase (D6D) activity of linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid in aged rats. Kinetic parameters of the D6D were determined in order to test the possibility that there may be a significant influence of GLA administration to young and aged rats on the Vm and Km values for 6-desaturation of both the substrates. In young rats GLA supplementation did not affect the kinetic parameters, while in old rats it produced an increase of Vm values of 6-desaturation for both the substrates. Thus the administration of small doses of GLA to old rats might offer substantial protection against the loss of D6D affinity observed in aging, enhancing the capacity of the enzyme itself.
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© 1991 Published by Elsevier Inc.