Fatty acids have a great influence on the process of lymphocyte apoptosis which is considered as a modulating factor of immune response in both humans and animals. However the mechanism underlying the function of fatty acids in the process of lymphocyte apoptosis is not fully understood. In this study we show that the appearance of adipocyte-type fatty acid binding protein (A-FABP) is induced upon administration of dexamethasone (DEX) in both in vivo and cultured lymphocytes, and its distinct nuclear localization occurs in close relation to the DEX-induced apoptosis process. In immuunohistochemistry of mouse spleen, A-FABP-immunoreactivity starts to occur 3 h after DEX stimulation, and it massively localizes in the nucleus 8 h after the treatment, while no A-FABP-immunoreactivity is discerned in the lymphocytes of normal as well as 24 h post-injection spleen. In the murine T-cell leukemia CTLL-2 cells, A-FABP-immunoreactivity is also induced in both of the cytoplasm and nucleus when the apoptosis is induced by IL-2 retrieval together with DEX treatment, while in the presence of IL-2 A-FABP-immunoreactivity is confined to the cytoplasm with DEX trreatment. On the other hand, A-FABP-immunoreactivity is not detected by IL-2 retrieval alone. The present findings altogether suggest that A-FABP and its ligands, fatty acids, play an important role in the process of apoptosis and the immune modulation induced by DEX.
- Fatty acid binding protein