1Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York 10016
Published October 1, 1968 - More info
Incorporation in vitro of 32P-labeled lysolecithin (LPC) or lysophosphatidylethanolamine (LPE) into respectively lecithin (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) of rabbit granulocytes and alveolar macrophages was compared in the absence and in the presence of ingestible particles. Maximal synthesis of PC by intact cells occurred at added LPC concentrations of less than 0.05 mmole/liter, i.e., at levels found in plasma. Accumulation of PC-32P proceeded linearly for at least 30 min and varied directly with cell concentration. While per cell granulocytes and macrophages converted comparable amounts of medium LPC to cellular PC, per milligram of protein, the granulocytes were approximately four times more active than the much larger macrophages. After 30 min newly synthesized PC-32P represented as much as 5% of total granulocyte PC. For macrophages this fraction did not exceed 1%. Addition of polystyrene or zymosan particles to the cell suspension resulted in up to 3-fold stimulation of incorporation of LPC-32P or LPE-32P into their respective diacyl derivatives. This stimulation did not occur when the cells were homogenized. Breakdown of LPC to water-soluble products during phagocytosis of polystyrene particles was the same as at rest. By use of doubly labeled LPC, the mechanism of PC synthesis by the two cell types has been identified as direct acylation of medium LPC, both at rest and during engulfment. Evidence presented in the case of granulocytes suggests that the increased translocation of medium LPC-32P during phagocytosis and its conversion to PC represents net synthesis.
The findings indicate that LPC, a normal constituent of plasma, can serve as substrate in PC synthesis by phagocytic cells. This mechanism of PC synthesis can account for appreciable addition of membrane PC, especially by granulocytes. It is proposed that stimulation of this pathway provides building blocks for increased membrane formation during phagocytosis.