Evidence that increasing the cellular content of eicosapentaenoic acid does not reduce the biosynthesis of platelet-activating factor

Massimo Triggiani, Theresa R. Connell, Floyd H. Chilton

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28 Scopus citations


Our study has examined platelet-activating factor (PAF) biosynthesis in neutrophils from individuals on a fish oil-enriched diet and in mast cells enriched with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in vitro. Neutrophils isolated from males who were fed fish oil supplement (EPA; 2.8 g/day) for 5 wk contained large quantities of eicosapentaenoate in phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine and less in phosphatidylinositol. The ratio arachidonate/eicosapentaenoate in PC and phosphatidylethanolamine decreased from >10 before the enriched diet to approximately 3 after the diet. The putative precursor of PAF, 1-O-alkyl-2-acyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (1-O-alkyl-2-acyl-GPC) contained the bulk of eicosapentaenoate in PC subclasses with smaller quantities found in 1-acyl and 1-alk-1′-enyl linked species. Ionophore A23187-stimulated neutrophils produced similar quantities of PAF before and after enriched diet. Neutrophils during normal diet acylated 1-O-alkyl-2-lyso-GPC only with arachidonate whereas neutrophils from individuals on enriched diet transferred both arachidonate and eicosapentaenoate into exogenously-provided 1-O-alkyl-2-lyso-GPC. This allowed for the labeling of neutrophils with 1-O-[3H]-alkyl-2-arachidonoyl-GPC (before diet) as well as neutrophils with 1-O-[3H]-alkyl-2-eicosapentaenoyl-GPC and 1-O-[3H]-alkyl-2-arachidonoyl-GPC (after diet). Neutrophils after diet converted similar quantities of these labeled precursors to labeled PAF upon stimulation as those before the diet. Analysis of the nature of the long chain acyl residue remaining in the sn-2 position of 1-alky 1-2-acyl-GPC after cell stimulation indicated that arachidonate and eicosapentaenoate were both released from 1-O-alkyl-2-acyl-GPC at comparable rates. Finally, in vitro supplementation of murine mast cells (PT-18) with arachidonic acid or EPA caused a marked increase in the amount of PAF produced by the cell without having any effect on histamine release. Data from these experiments suggest that EPA is incorporated into a PAF precursor pool. However, this appears not to inhibit PAF production because phospholipase A2 can use eicosapentaenoate- as well as arachidonate-containing phospholipids in the initial step of PAF biosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2241-2248
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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