Dietary coconut oil affects more lipoprotein lipase activity than the mitochondria oxidative capacities in muscles of preruminant calves.
The presence of coconut oil in a milk replacer stimulates the growth rate of calves, suggesting a better oxidation of fatty acid in muscles. Because dietary fatty acid composition influences carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT I) activity in rat muscles, this study was designed to examine the effects of a milk replacer containing either tallow (TA) or coconut oil (CO) on fatty acid utilization and oxidation and on the characteristics of intermyofibrillar (IM) and subsarcolemmal (SS) mitochondria in the heart and skeletal muscles of preruminant calves. Feeding CO did not affect palmitate oxidation rate by whole homogenates, but induced higher palmitate oxidation by IM mitochondria (+37%, P < 0.05). CPT I activity did not significantly differ between the two groups of calves. Heart and longissimus thoracis muscle of calves fed CO had higher lipoprotein lipase activity (+27% and 58%, respectively; P < 0.05) but showed no differences in fatty acid binding protein content or activity of oxidative enzymes. Whatever the muscle and the diet, IM mitochondria had higher respiration rates and enzyme activities than those of SS mitochondria (P < 0.05). Furthermore, CPT I activity of the heart was 28-fold less sensitive to malonyl-coenzyme A inhibition in IM mitochondria than in SS mitochondria. In conclusion, dietary CO marginally affected the activity of the two mitochondrial populations and the oxidative activity of muscles in the preruminant calf. In addition, this study showed that differences between IM and SS mitochondria in the heart and muscles were higher in calves than in other species studied so far.