Red blood cell fatty acids in multiple sclerosis


*Xavier Navarro, M.D., Department of Cell Biology and Physiology Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona 08193 Bellaterra Barcelona Spain


The fatty acid (FA) composition of each phospholipid constituent of the red blood cells (RBC) was analyzed, by thin-layer and gas chromatography techniques, in 61 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and 61 normal subjects, in whom the plasma lipid FA composition had previously been studied. The MS patients showed a significant decrease in the proportions of linoleic and arachidonic acids in most phospholipids, with a compensatory increase of saturated FA. Correlations between FA percentages in plasma and cell lipids demonstrated abnormalities in the MS patients, suggestive of a disturbance in the exchange between these compartments. The alterations reported in plasma and RBC in the MS patients are consistent with a relative deficiency of essential FA