Malnutrition promotes prostaglandin over leukotriene production and dysregulates eicosanoid-cytokine crosstalk in activated resident macrophages

G. M. Anstead, Q. Zhang, P. C. Melby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


We previously described a murine model of malnutrition that mimicked features of moderate human malnutrition, and led to increased dissemination of Leishmania donovani. In this study, we investigated the effect of malnutrition on macrophage production of cytokines, prostaglandins (PGs), and leukotrienes (LTs). Using either LPS or calcium ionophore A23187 as a stimulus, macrophages from the malnourished mice produced a 3-fold higher PG/LT ((PGE2+6-keto-PGF)/(LTB4+cysteinyl leukotrienes)) ratio than macrophages from well-nourished mice. LPS-stimulated macrophages from the malnourished mice produced decreased levels of TNF-α, GM-CSF, and IL-10, but similar levels of IL-6 and NO compared to well-nourished mice. A complex crosstalk between the eicosanoids and cytokines in the LPS-stimulated macrophages from the malnourished mice was evident by the following: (1) high levels of PG secretion despite low levels of TNF-α; (2) supplemental IL-10 modulated the excessive PG production; (3) GM-CSF rectified the PG/LT ratio, but did not correct the abnormal cytokine profile; and (4) inhibitors of cyclooxygenase decreased the PG/LT ratio, but did not affect TNF-α. Thus, in this model of malnutrition, there is a relative increase in anti-inflammatory PGs compared to pro-inflammatory LTs, which may contribute to immunodeficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalProstaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Cytokine
  • Granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor
  • Interleukin-10
  • Leukotriene
  • Macrophage
  • Malnutrition
  • Nitric oxide
  • Prostaglandin
  • Tumor necrosis factor-alpha

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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