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Can we specifically enrich lipid droplets to fight pathogens and diseases faster and more efficiently?

Image credit: https://biotium.com/product/lipidspot-488-lipid-droplet-stain-1000x/

jnikola Nov 11, 2020
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Very recently, scientists stated that lipid droplets could serve as the first line of antibacterial and antiviral defense. They can contain antimicrobial compounds and immune factors that help to battle various antigens .

Could we then just isolate them, inoculate a whole library of antimicrobial compounds or antibodies and enrich our cells, or even better - macrophages, with new and improved artillery?!

Where and how specifically could this method be used?
What are the obstacles?


Lipid droplets are known for a long time, but we still know almost nothing about them. They are fat-storing containers surrounded by a phospholipid monolayer. It is also known that they can supply the mitochondria with fat for energy production. Recently, scientists observed that some pathogens exploit the fat droplets for survival and growth .

In a study that showed the antimicrobial properties of lipid droplets,
  • scientists stimulated a bacterial infection in live mice by injecting a bacterial molecule that stimulates the innate immune response
  • observed the increase in liver lipid droplets after the activation of the immune system.
  • isolated these lipid droplets and compared their antibacterial capacity in vitro
  • LPS-induced lipid droplets from the liver were significantly better at killing bacteria
  • LPS-induced droplets were enriched with innate immune factors
  • the lipid droplets seemed to localize with the bacteria
  • incubated human macrophages with fatty acids to increase the number of lipid droplets before the infection
  • they inhibited E. coli growth more effectively



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