Macrophage membrane fluidity was investigated with respect to cellular phagocytic activity through the use of fatty acid spin labels. Spin-labeled fatty acid derivatives were incorporated into intact mouse peritoneal macrophages by exchange from bovine serum albumin. The electron spin resonance (ESR) spectra of the spin-labeled fatty acids in the macrophages showed a pronounced temperature dependence and a decrease in the hyperfine splittings (2T|) of the spectra as the nitroxide radical was moved away from the polar head group of the fatty acid derivatives. Spin-labeled macrophages underwent a time- and temperature-dependent decay, which was inhibited by preincubating the cells with mercuric chloride, heating at 56 °C, or by fixing them with 0.25 % glutaraldehyde. No correlation between the phagocytic activity of macrophages and membrane freedom of motion could be demonstrated. Treatment of macrophages with anti-macrophage serum or extended in vitro cultivation inhibited cellular phagocytic activity but exerted no effect on the motional freedom of the macrophage membrane. Enrichment of the fatty acid composition of the macrophage membrane with cis- or trans-unsaturated fatty acids had striking effects on cellular phagocytic activity, while no significant changes could be detected in the freedom of motion of incorporated fatty acid spin labels at the degree of specific enrichment achieved here. Thus no correlation between cellular phagocytic activity and lipid motion could be detected.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology