Visual membranes: specificity of fatty acid precursors for the electrical response to illumination

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Science  27 Jun 1975:
Vol. 188, Issue 4195, pp. 1312-1314
DOI: 10.1126/science.1145197


Rat electroretinograms were measured as a function of dietary supplements of purified ethyl esters of linolenic acid, linoleic acid, and oleic acid. Polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from precursors of linolenic and linoleic acids appear to be important functional components of photoreceptor cell membranes, although in equal dietary concentrations, linolenic acid precursors affect electroretinogram amplitudes to a greater extent than linoleic acid precursors. The electrical response of photoreceptor cell membranes appears to be a function of the position of the double bonds as well as a function of the total number of double bonds in fatty acid supplements.