Alterations in cell lipid metabolism by glycol methacrylate (HEMA)

G. S. Schuster, G. B. Caughman, F. A. Rueggeberg, C. A. Lefebvre, R. Cibirka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Components of dental resins such as dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) can alter cell lipid composition, presumably by esterase-mediated hydrolysis. The resulting dimethylethanolamine is incorporated into cell phospholipids, while the methacrylic acid may alter several metabolic pathways. We hypothesize that HEMA is cleaved in a similar manner and the released ethylene glycol is incorporated into cell lipids, yielding phosphatidylethylene glycol (PtEG), and the methacrylic acid alters other lipid pathways in a manner similar to that of methacrylic acid released from hydrolysis of DMAEMA. Cultures of hamster buccal pouch (HCP) and rabbit kidney (RK13) epithelial cells were exposed to subtoxic concentrations of HEMA in the presence of [14C]-acetate or [3H]-oleic acid. Other cultures were prelabeled with [14C ]-acetate followed by exposure to various concentrations of HEMA. Cell lipids were extracted by the method of Bligh and Dyer and separated by thin layer chromatography on silica gel K-6 plates or SG-81 silica gel loaded chromatography paper. The fate of the ethylene glycol was traced using [14C]-ethylene glycol. Radioactive lipids were located using autoradiography and known standard lipids and quantitated by liquid scintillation spectrometry. In the presence of HEMA several classes of lipids were altered. Among the neutral lipids, the most notable changes involved sterol precursors, triglycerides, fatty acids, and cholesterol esters, while phosphatidylcholine was affected among the phospholipids. The results differed quantitatively between the two cell types. Results also suggest that EG, including that released by hydrolysis of HEMA, is incorporated into cell phospholipids, producing PtEG. The changes in neutral lipid labeling may occur by alteration of lipid synthetic pathways utilizing acetyl Co-A as well as inhibition of enzymes involved in synthesis of cholesterol from sterol precursors and hydrolysis of cholesterol esters. Synthesis of PtEG may take place via phospholipase D-mediated headgroup exchange. Alterations in the cellular lipids may affect cell membrane properties and associated cell functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1121-1133
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Dental resin
  • Epithelium
  • Ethylene glycol
  • Glycol methacrylate
  • HEMA
  • Lipid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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