Lipid analyses on hepatic tissue of mice during infection with P. berghei revealed various alterations in fatty-acid composition. Initial changes were followed by an approach toward normal late in the disease. Major changes in the concentrations of C 16:0, C 17:0, C 18:0, C 18:1, C 18:2, and C 20:4 fatty acids were noted within specific lipid classes as well as the total lipid extract.
It was of interest that almost exactly opposite changes were noted in the free fatty acids as compared with the other fractions. This is possibly a result of the pool of utilizable fatty acids derived from depot lipids being diverted to some other function, such as biosynthesis in the parasite.
A lack of change in lipase activity was shown not to be a factor in the alterations observed from esterified acids to the free fatty-acid class.
Present address: Department of Microbiology, Northwestern State College of Louisiana, Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457.
Present address: Laboratory of Germfree Animal Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20014.