Rapid remodeling of arachidonate from phosphatidylcholine to phosphatidylethanolamine pools during mast cell activation

Alfred N. Fonteh, Floyd H. Chilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The objective of the present study was to better linderstand the remodeling of arachidonic acid (AA) in phospholipids of the mouse bone marrow-derived mast cell (BMMC) during Ag and ionophore A23187 activation. Initial studies were designed to understand the movement of AA in phospholipid classes under resting conditions. BMMC pulse labeled with AA incorporated >95% of the label into the major phospholipid classes. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) subclasses, 1-acyl-2-arachidonoyl-(sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (GPC)) in particular, initially accounted for most of the label incorporated into the cells with phosphatidylinositol/phosphatidylserine (PI/PS) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) subclasses containing much smaller quantities. Prolonged incubation of labeled BMMC resulted in a decrease in the radioactivity in PC with a concomitant increase in PE such that 1-alk-1-enyl-2-arachidonoyl-(sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (GPE)) became the single largest labeled AA pool by 24 h. Further experiments indicated that 24 h was the time required to reach isotopic equilibrium among AA-containing phospholipids of the BMMC. In the next series of experiments, BMMC phospholipids were labeled to different specific activities by either labeling the cells for 0.5 h or for 24 h followed by stimulation. Under isotopic equilibrium conditions (24 h), stimulation resulted in AA release from PE > PC ≫ PI/PS with 1-alk-1-enyl-2-arachidonoyl-GPE providing the bulk of AA released from the BMMC. By contrast, cells labeled for 0.5 h released AA from PC ≫ PI/PS, with 1-acyl-2-arachidonoyl-GPC accounting for most of the AA released from BMMC phospholipids. Label associated with PE subclasses under nonequilibrium conditions remained unchanged or slightly increased throughout a 10-min stimulation period. Finally, BMMC were double labeled with [14C] -AA for 24 h and then with [3H]-AA for 0.5 h. Cell stimulation resulted in a decrease in the [3H]/[14C] ratio in PC and PI and an increase in the ratio in PE. The decrease in [3H]/[14C] ratio in PC was mainly in 1-acyl-2-arachidonoyl-GPC, whereas the increase in PE subclasses was primarily in 1-alk-1-enyl-2-arachidonoyl-GPE. The [3H]/[14C] ratio in cellular neutral lipids and in supernatant fluid products were at values between PC and PE subclasses. Taken togather, these data suggest that during Ag activation, the release of free arachidonic acid is from predominantly PE subclasses. Concomitant with the release of AA, there is a rapid remodeling of AA from PC subclasses into PE subclasses (1-alk-1-enyl-2-acyl-GPE).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1784-1791
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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