Alteration of the structure and function of guinea pig peritoneal macrophages by a soybean oil emulsion

R. C. Strunk, C. M. Payne, R. B. Nagle, K. Kunke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Studies in humans who have received Intralipid (IL) have demonstrated the presence of a fat pigment and fat droplets in reticuloendothelial phagocytic cells. Clinical data and in vitro studies suggest that these cells do not function normally. The authors have studied the effect of IL on the morphology and function of guinea pig peritoneal macrophages in vitro. Starch-induced macrophages were exposed to IL for up to 48 hr. Ingestion of increasing amounts of IL over the 48-hr period was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy and by oil red O stain. The uptake of the IL was associated with marked morphologic changes characterized by a decreased ability of the cells to spread and by a decrease in the number and degree of complexity of the membrane ruffles. The ingestion of IL also resulted in decreased capacity of the cells to associate with latex beads (5.7 μ in diameter) or Candida albicans and decreased capacity to adhere to and ingest sheep erythrocytes coated with IgG. After ingestion of latex beads 0.46 μ in diameter, which are similar in size to IL particles, macrophages had normal morphology and function, indicating that neither the morphologic nor functional abnormalities were due to a nonspecific effect of ingestion of small particles. Alterations of human reticuloendothelial macrophage function similar to the effects observed here could compromize host defense against infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-770
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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