Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute


The deterioration of lipids by oxygen, termed peroxidation, is a constitutive process in living systems. Enzymatic peroxidation is required for some forms of cell signalling, but the non-enzymatic peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) produces numerous toxic and mutagenic products associated with pathology and aging. Phospholipids containing PUFA are common in mammalian membranes, but an inverse relationship has been found between membrane susceptibility to peroxidation and maximal lifespan (MLS). Past studies of peroxidation have focused on the PUFA content of phospholipids, but other elements of phospholipid composition including class and saturated fatty acid (SFA) or monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) content may also influence peroxidation. This thesis presents three studies investigating the relationship between phospholipid composition and peroxidation.