Signaling Pathways Involved in the Effects of Different Fatty Acids on Interleukin-2 Induced Human Lymphocyte Proliferation
In order to investigate the implication of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in T signalling, we assessed their effects on the activation of two mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinases, i.e. extracellularly-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/ERK2) in Jurkat T-cells. The n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) alone failed to induce MAP kinase (MAPK) enzyme activity. To elucidate whether DHA and EPA act via protein kinase C (PKC) dependent and independent pathways, we employed their respective activators, i.e. phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and antiCD3 antibodies. We observed that U0126, an inhibitor of MAPK kinase-ERK kinase 1/2 (MEK1/2), abolished the actions of these two agents on MAPK activation, suggesting that they act upstream of MEK1/2. Further EPA and DHA diminished both the PMA- and antiCD3 antibodies-induced enzyme activity of ERK1/ERK2 in Jurkat T-cells. Interestingly, okadaic acid (OA), a phosphatase inhibitor seems to act downstream of MEK1/2 as U0126 failed to inhibit the OA-induced MAPK activation. It is noteworthy that EPA and DHA not only failed to curtail the OA-induced MAPK activity but also these n-3 PUFAs at 20 μM potentiated the action of OA. Therefore, EPA and DHA seem to modulate MAPK activation upstream and downstream of MEK1/2. On the hand, arachidonic acid, an n-6 PUFA potentiated the MAPK enzyme activity. In conclusion, our study shows that EPA and DHA may regulate T-cells functions by modulating MAPK enzyme activity.