Background: Stearic acid (SA), a saturated long-chain fatty acid consisting of
18 carbon atoms, is widely found in feed ingredients, such as corn, soybeans, and
wheat. However, the roles of SA in the renewal of intestinal epithelial cells remain
Methods and Results: In the present study, we found that 0.01-0.1 mM SA promoted
IPEC-J2 cell differentiation and did not affect IPEC-J2 cell viability. In addition, the
results showed that the viability of IPEC-J2 cells was inhibited by SA in a time- and
dose-dependent manner at high concentrations. Flow cytometry and western blot
analysis suggested that SA induced apoptosis, autophagy and ER stress in cells. In
addition, the amounts of triglyceride were significantly increased upon challenge with
SA. Moreover, the decrease in the viability of cells induced by SA could be attenuated
by 4-PBA, an inhibitor of ER stress.
Conclusion: In summary, SA accelerated IPEC-J2 cell differentiation at 0.01-0.1 mM.
Furthermore, SA induced IPEC-J2 cell apoptosis and autophagy by causing ER stress.