1 Instituto de Formación Agraria y Pesquera- IFAPA Centro Venta del Llano, Mengibar, Spain. 2 Instituto de la Grasa-CSIC, Campus Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain.
Although the beneficial role of virgin olvie oil in the Mediterranean Diet is well-known, its effects on health cannot be attributed solely to oleic acid. In addition to the effect of minor components, the presence of other fatty acids, which depends largely on the olive cultivar among other factors, need to be considered. In the present study, we examined the effect of chylomicron remnant-like particles (CRLP) prepared with virgin olive oil obtained from `Chetoui´, `Buidiego´, `Galega´, `Blanqueta´ and `Picual´ cultivars, provinding different fatty acid compositions, on foam cell formation macrophages. THP-1 cells were incubated with CRLP for 24h and intracellular lipid accumulation was quantified by measring total triacylglycerol concentration and fatty acid composition. `Chetoui´ and `Blanqueta´ CRLP, which presented greater linoleic acid concentrations, led to foam cells with increased triacylglycerol content, compared to those treated with `Buidiego´ and `Picual´ CRLP, which were richer in oleic acid. In conclusion, linoleic acid-rich cultivars of virgin olive oils induced enhanced foam cell formation from THP-1 macrophages compared to oleic acid-rich cultivars, showing a consistent correlation between the oleic acid/linoleic acid ratio and intracellular triacylglycerol accumulation. The results of this study demonstrate that the differences in the fatty acid composition of virgin olive oil are determinant for foam cell formation. In addition, they point out to the possibility of selecting virgin olive oil cultivars for specific nutritional uses according to their fatty acid composition.