Background: It has been shown that in acne comedones the proportion of linoleic acid is markedly decreased, while palmitic acid is significantly increased. We previously reported that the decreased proportion of linoleic acid, which markedly suppresses neutrophil reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and phagocytosis, contribute to the worsening of acne inflammation. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of palmitic acid on neutrophil functions in vitro. Methods: We investigated the effect of palmitic acid on inflammatory parameters such as neutrophil chemotaxis, phagocytosis, and ROS generation. Reactive oxygen species generation in a cell-free, xanthine-xanthine oxidase system was also assessed. The species examined were superoxide radical anion (O2-), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and hydroxyl radical (OH·). Results: Palmitic acid significantly decreased H2O2 generation both by neutrophils and in the xanthine-xanthine oxidase system, while neutrophil chemotaxis and phagocytosis as well as O2- and OH· generation by both systems were not markedly affected in the presence of palmitic acid. Conclusions: The present study suggests that palmitic acid may be involved in the pathogenesis of acne inflammation from a standpoint of oxidative tissue injury.
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