The activation of neutrophil granulocytes has to be carefully controlled to balance desired activity against invading pathogens while avoiding overwhelming activation leading to host tissue damage. We now show that phospholipids are potential key players in this process by either enhancing or dampening the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during the oxidative burst. Unoxidized phospholipids induce the production of ROS, and they also work synergistically with FMLP in potentiating the oxidative burst in neutrophil granulocytes. Oxidation of these phospholipids, however, turns them into potent inhibitors of the oxidative burst. OxPls specifically inhibit ROS production by inhibiting the assembly of the phagocyte oxidase complex but do not alter neutrophil viability, nor do they interfere with MAPK activation. Furthermore, up-regulation of the activation marker Mac-1 and phagocytosis of bacteria is not affected. Therefore, phospholipids may act as sensors of oxidative stress in tissues and either positively or negatively regulate neutrophil ROS production according to their oxidation state.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy