Non-esterified fatty acids in blood cell membranes from patients with multiple sclerosis
The literature on non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations in blood cell membranes from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) is scarce and reports on concentrations in brain tissue from these patients are inconsistent. NEFAs are needed for several biological functions, for example, as precursors for inflammatory eicosanoid synthesis. The objective of this study was therefore to compare NEFA concentrations in blood cell membranes from patients with that of healthy control subjects, and to correlate possible changes with disease outcome. NEFA C18:2n-6 (9,12-octadecadienoic acid) was decreased in peripheral blood mononuclear cell membranes from patients, median (quartile range): patients: 0.05 (0.02) and controls: 0.07 (0.14)μg/mg protein, p=0.007. C18:2n-6 also showed a weaker relationship with other fatty acids: with C16:0: patients: R=0.40, p=0.04; controls: R=0.82, p=0.000001. Saturated and MUFA showed positive correlations with the Bowel and bladder Functional System Scores (FSS). In contrast, in red blood cell membranes C18:2n-6 and C22:0 (docosanoic acid) showed inverse correlations with the Sensory and Brainstem FSS. The decrease in NEFA C18:2n-6 resulted in metabolic abnormalities between itself and saturated and monounsaturated NEFAs. Altered fatty acid composition in immune cell membranes would influence immune cell functions, and could possibly have contributed to the positive correlations between these fatty acids and disease outcome. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.