Arachidonic acid (AA) is incorporated and exported by macrophages. This fatty acid is also transferred from macrophages (Mϕ) to lymphocytes (LY) in co‐culture. This observation led us to investigate the effect of macrophages pre‐loaded with AA on concanavalin A (Con A)‐stimulated lymphocyte proliferation. The experiments were performed in co‐culture. This condition reproduces the in vivo microenvironment in which the modulation of lymphocyte proliferation is dependent on the interaction with macrophages. Lymphocytes obtained from untreated rats or from intraperitoneally thioglycolate‐injected rats (THIO‐treated) were co‐cultured with macrophages from the same rats. Firstly, macrophages were co‐cultured for 48 h with Con A‐stimulated lymphocytes in different proportions: 0.5, 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 20 and 30% of 5 × 105 lymphocytes per well. At 1% proportion, macrophages caused maximum stimulation of lymphocyte proliferation; a four‐ to five‐fold increase, for cells from both thioglycolate‐treated and untreated rats, respectively, whereas at 20% it caused maximum inhibition. In addition, 1 or 20% macrophages were pre‐loaded with several AA concentrations during a period of 6 h and co‐cultured with lymphocytes. At 180 μM AA and 1% macrophages, lymphocyte proliferation was inhibited (by 25%), whereas at 20% macrophages, proliferation was increased, by 25‐ and three‐fold, respectively, for cells from untreated and THIO‐treated rats. AA added directly to the medium reduced lymphocyte proliferation, also being toxic to these cells at 100 μM. No toxic effects of AA were observed on macrophages. Additional evidence suggests that nitric oxide production is involved in the modulation of lymphocyte proliferation by AA‐pre‐loaded macrophages. These findings support the proposition that AA can directly modulate lymphocyte proliferation and the interaction between macrophages and lymphocytes. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Cell Biochemistry and Function – Wiley
Published: Nov 1, 2005
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