Chain elongation of eicosapentaenoic acid in the macrophage. Academic Article uri icon


  • In order to elucidate the metabolic fate of eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5 (n-3], a major n-3 fatty acid constituent of fish oil, resident and casein-elicited mouse peritoneal macrophages were incubated with [3H]20:5 (n-3). Comparative experiments with arachidonic acid (20:4 (n-6] were also conducted. After 4, 8 and 18 h incubation, [3H]20:5 (n-3) was extensively elongated into [3H]22:5(n-3) while [3H]20:4(n-6) was only moderately elongated into [3H]22:4(n-6) in both resident and elicited macrophages. No measurable conversion of [3H]22:5(n-3) into [3H]22:6(n-3) (delta 4 desaturation) could be demonstrated. These data demonstrate that the highly active chain elongation of 20:5(n-3) by macrophage elongase, as well as the lack of detectable delta 4 desaturase activity, are responsible for the accumulation of 22:5(n-3) in this cell.

published proceedings

  • Biochim Biophys Acta

author list (cited authors)

  • Chapkin, R. S., & Miller, C. C.

citation count

  • 24

complete list of authors

  • Chapkin, RS||Miller, CC

publication date

  • February 1990