• Anergy;
  • Cytotoxicity;
  • Human;
  • Lipid mediators;
  • T cells


Lipids are key regulators of immune responses. In this study we investigated the direct impact of oxidized phospholipids (ox-PL) on T cell activation and function. We could demonstrate that ox-PL strongly inhibit proliferation of purified human T cells induced with anti-CD3/CD28 or anti-CD3/CD63 mAb, whereas proliferation of naive T cells from human cord blood was not affected by ox-PL. Unoxidized phospholipids showed no such effect. Inhibition of T cell proliferation by ox-PL was not due to cell death. Moreover, T cell proliferation triggered by PMA/ionomycin activation was not diminished by ox-PL. T cells activated in the presence of ox-PL produced and released low amounts of IFN-γ and IL-2, whereas IL-4 was only slightly diminished. Ox-PL prevented the expression of de novo synthesized activation markers (CD25, MHC class II) but not expression of CD63 or CD69. We further observed that T cells stimulated in the presence of ox-PL are poorly cytotoxic T cells. Most importantly, T cells activated in the presence of ox-PL failed to proliferate in response to restimulation. This hypo-proliferative state was accompanied with an up-regulation of early growth response gene 3 and Casitas B-lineage lymphoma protein B. Taken together, our results demonstrate that ox-PL are potent and specific regulators of T cell activation and function.