Fatty acid conjugates of xenobiotics

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In this review, we discuss the formation and toxicity of fatty acid conjugates of xenobiotics. Conjugates formed in vivo and in vitro and those detected as contaminants are reviewed. Due to the lipophilic nature of these conjugates, they may accumulate in various body organs and cause toxic manifestations. In vivo formation of these fatty acid conjugates appears to be catalyzed by enzyme(s). Fatty acid ethyl esters are the most widely studied esters and have been implicated in the onset or pathogenesis of myocardial and pancreatic diseases in alcoholics. In experimental animals, studies on 2-chloroethyl linoleate, palmitoylpentachlorophenol and oleoyl and linoleoyl anilides clearly indicate that lipid conjugates of xenobiotics are involved in target organ toxicity. These findings warrant further detailed studies to isolate and identify other fatty acid conjugates and to evaluate their toxicity. Thorough toxicokinetic and metabolic studies are also needed to identify putative toxic agents. Identifying these agents could help in understanding the mechanism of pathogenesis associated with lipid conjugation. Finally fatty acid conjugates of drugs (prodrugs), have been shown to have increased half-lives and long-lasting dose-response. Thus these conjugates may be useful for enhancing the therapeutic potential of drugs and should be explored further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jan 1995


  • Fatty acid amides
  • Fatty acid conjugates
  • Fatty acid esters
  • Toxicity
  • Xenobiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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