Immunotoxicity of polyunsaturated fatty acids in serum-free medium

B. U. Tezabwala, M. Bennett, Scott M Grundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


To test the effect of purified polyunsaturated fatty acids on immune cells in vitro, human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and murine spleen cells were incubated in Opti-MEM medium without serum or even albumin and with 2-mercapto-ethanol, insulin, transferrin and selenium as supplements. the human cells were stimulated with phytohemagglutinin and the murine cells were stimulated with Concanavalin A or lipopolysaccharide. Both human and murine cells were stimulated with recombinant human interleukin-2 to generate lymphokine activated killer cells Linoleic and linolenic acids inhibited all of the immune responses tested, whereas docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids did not Similar effects were observed with cultured B16 F10 murine melanoma cells. Mixtures of linoleic and docosahexaenoic or eicosapentaenoic acids also inhibited the mitogenic response to phytohemagglutinin. Inhibition of lipid mediator production by indomethacin, quercetin, rutin, or nordihydroguariaretic acid, and addition of vitamins C and E with anti-oxidant activity failed to reverse the effects of linoleic acid. Thus, linoleic and linolenic acids appear to directly inhibit immune and tumor cells, at least under these conditions

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-383
Number of pages19
JournalImmunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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