Saturated but not unsaturated FFA induce apoptosis in cultured HMC. HMC were plated for 24 h in media containing 17% FBS, then incubated starting at time 0 with the indicated FFA at 0.2 mM complexed to albumin or with albumin alone (Control), all in media containing 5% FBS. After 24 and 48 h, the level of (A) the cleaved fragment of caspase-3 and (B) cytoplasmic nucleosomal fragments were determined by ELISA and expressed relative to the 24 h control value. Data are mean ± SEM for n = 3 independent experiments in triplicate. **, P < 0.01 by ANOVA versus control, oleate, or linoleate alone.