Short term exposure of murine CTL clones to long chain cis unsaturated free fatty acid (FFA) inhibits alloantigen specific lysis of cognate target cells, whereas long-chain saturated FFA have no effect. Inhibition of lysis occurs when cis FFA is added before or within 10 min after CTL-target cell conjugate formation and thus appears to interfere with lethal hit delivery. Our previous studies have shown that similar treatment with cis FFA inhibits, in CTL, the Ag stimulated increase in intracellular calcium and degranulation, suggesting that inhibition of lysis probably results from perturbation of the CTL signaling pathway. However, inhibition of lysis is probably not due to the inhibition of the rise in intracellular calcium or degranulation, because lysis can occur under conditions in which FFA inhibit degranulation and because cis FFA inhibit calcium-independent killing. Inhibition of lysis is detectable at unbound FFA concentrations less than 1 microM and is generally complete at concentrations less than 5 microM. Although these levels of FFA are somewhat higher than reported for normal physiologic conditions, plasma FFA levels can be elevated into this range in states of stress and disease, suggesting that FFA modulation of the immune response has important physiologic consequences.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Association of Immunologists