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Macrophage (M phi) activation is deficient in the fetus and neonate, at times when the serum concentration of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n3) is approximately 10-fold higher than in the adult. We tested the effects of highly purified DHA on M phi activation in vitro. M phi were stimulated with rIFN-gamma plus either of two second or "triggering" signals, LPS or heat-killed Listeria monocytogenes. M phi activation was assayed as the lysis of P815 mastocytoma cells, which are resistant to TNF-alpha. DNA inhibited the activation of peritoneal M phi and the M phi line RAW264.7 in a dose-dependent manner at concentrations between 20 and 160 microM. These concentrations are found in fetal and neonatal rodent sera. Another polyunsaturated fatty acid, arachidonic acid (20:4n6), was much less inhibitory. In contrast to its profound effect on tumoricidal activation, DHA did not inhibit phagocytosis and catabolism of 125I-heat-killed Listeria monocytogenes. Increasing the rIFN-gamma or second signals reduced the inhibition of tumoricidal activation by DHA but not M phi incorporation of 14C-DHA. When the rIFN-gamma and second signals were separated in time, DHA was far more inhibitory if delivered with the triggering signal than if delivered with the rIFN-gamma. However, the incorporation of 14C-DHA was the same under these two conditions. In M phi treated with DHA during LPS stimulation, the inhibition was time-dependent, requiring more than 2 h. Although DHA inhibits cyclooxygenase activity, its inhibition of M phi activation was not reversed with the following cyclooxygenase products: PGE2, a stable TXA2 analog (U-46, 619) or a stable PGI2 analog (Iloprost). Although DHA is metabolized by lipoxygenases, the inhibition was not reversed by the lipoxygenase inhibitors 5, 8, 11, 14-eicosatetraynoic acid and nordihydroguaiaretic acid. Altogether, the data indicate that DHA, at concentrations present in fetal and neonatal sera, inhibits M phi activation and may contribute to the previously observed deficits in M phi function in the fetus and neonate.

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Immunol

Publication Date

15/06/1990

Volume

144

Pages

4888 - 4897

Keywords

Cytotoxicity, Immunologic, Docosahexaenoic Acids, Fish Oils, Immunity, Cellular, In Vitro Techniques, Interferon-gamma, Lipoxygenase, Listeria monocytogenes, Macrophage Activation, Macrophages, Peritoneal Cavity, Phagocytosis, Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases, Recombinant Proteins