Inflammation Research

, Volume 58, Issue 10, pp 677–685 | Cite as

Neutrophil generation of inflammatory precursors is not modulated by docosahexaenoic acid

  • Serena Quattrucci
  • Mariarosaria Napolitano
  • Sara Benedetti Valentini
  • Alessandro Giuliani
  • Elena Bravo
Original Research Paper


Objective and design

It is believed that correction of membrane fatty acid deficiency in cystic fibrosis (CF) downregulates the synthesis of proinflammatory mediators. We tested the hypothesis that an increase of the proportion of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the membrane in vitro changes the neutrophil response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide (LPS).


Treatment with DHA increased the secretion of interleukin(IL)-1|*alpha*| by CF neutrophils, but the secretion of other cytokines, CD11b expression, and arachidonic acid (AA) release were not affected either in CF or control (CT) neutrophils. Both with and without DHA, only one out of eight CF neutrophils responded to LPS with an increase of released AA, while five out of seven CT cells released more AA (CF vs. CT P < 0.05 by Fisher test).


These results indicate that in neutrophils the beneficial effects of DHA on immune response are not directly related to the generation of proinflammatory precursors, and suggest that in CF the lower neutrophil AA generation in response to activation could cause insufficient production of lipid mediators involved in the resolution of lung inflammation.


Docosahexaenoic acid Arachidonic acid Neutrophil function Lipid mediator precursor Cystic fibrosis 



Arachidonic acid


Cystic fibrosis




Cytosolic phospholipase A2


Docosahexaenoic acid


Fetal bovine serum




Phosphate-buffered saline


Polyunsaturated fatty acids


Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide



Our gratitude to La Lega Italiana per la lotta alla Fibrosi Cistica which has supported this work. We are thankful for Dr. Mauro Biffoni’s excellent collaboration. We would like to thank Dr. Emanuele Bernardi for his technical help and Dr. E. Fanales Belasio for his scientific advice. We are grateful to Prof. K.M. Botham who has contributed to the improvement of the manuscript with scientific advice and revision of the English language.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Serena Quattrucci
    • 1
  • Mariarosaria Napolitano
    • 2
  • Sara Benedetti Valentini
    • 1
  • Alessandro Giuliani
    • 3
  • Elena Bravo
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Centro di Riferimento Fibrosi Cistica Regione LazioUniversità “La Sapienza”RomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Haematology, Oncology and Molecular MedicineIstituto Superiore di SanitàRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Environment and HealthIstituto Superiore di SanitàRomeItaly

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