The effect of conjugated linoleic acid isomers on mast cells in vitro
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Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a polyunsaturated fatty acid found in dairy foods and meat from ruminants, as well as in synthetic dietary supplements. CLA causes remodeling of the mammary fibrocellular and adipose stroma in vivo , including mast cell and leukocyte recruitment, fibroplasia, and a decrease in the brown and white adipose tissue and its supporting vasculature. Two CLA isomers, 9,11- and 10,12-CLA, have differing effects on mast cells in vivo , with only 10,12-CLA markedly increasing mast cell number. The purpose of this project was to test the hypothesis that CLA can mediate its effects by acting directly on the mast cell. P815 mastocytoma and MC/9 mast cell lines were assayed for the effects of CLA on mast cell number, proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation. In contrast to the in vivo effects of CLA on mast cells, 10,12-CLA caused a decrease in overall viable mast cell number in vitro , due to an increase in percentage of apoptotic cells. Furthermore, both isomers of CLA increased mast cell size and granularity, indicators of differentiation. These unexpected results suggest that the complex effects of CLA on mast cells in the mammary gland include interactions between multiple cell types present in vivo .