Human peripheral blood T lymphocyte proliferation after activation of the T cell receptor: Effects of unsaturated fatty acids

R. B. Zurier, R. G. Rossetti, C. M. Seiler, M. Laposata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


Oils enriched in certain polyunsaturated fatty acids suppress joint pain and swelling in rheumatoid arthritis patients with active synovitis. Because T lymphocyte activation is important for propagation of joint tissue injury in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, we examined the effects of fatty acids added in vitro on proliferation of human T lymphocytes stimulated with monoclonal antibodies to CD3 and CD4. Unsaturated fatty acids reduced T cell proliferation in a dose dependent manner (dihomogammalinolenic acid>gammalinolenic acid>eicosapentaenoic acid>arachidonic acid). Removal of fatty acids from cultures before cell stimulation did not change the effects, but addition of fatty acids after cell stimulation failed to reduce T cell responses. The saturated palmitic acid did not influence T cell growth. These studies indicate that small changes in cellular fatty acids can have profound effects on early events in T cell signaling and on T cell function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-375
Number of pages5
JournalProstaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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