A specific 5(S),12(R)-dihydroxy-eicosa-6,8,10(trans/trans/cis), 14(cis)-tetraenoic acid, designated leukotriene B, is generated by the lipoxygenation and subsequent enzymatic hydration of arachidonic acid in a variety of leukocytes. Leukotriene B elicits a maximal human neutrophil chemotactic response in vitro which is similar in magnitude to those evoked by the chemotactic fragment of the fifth component of complement, C5a, synthetic formyl-methionyl peptides, and 5-hydroxy-eicosatetraenoic acid (5-HETE). The neutrophil chemotactic potency of purified leukotriene B, assessed by the 50% effective concentration of 6 x 10(-9) M, is equivalent to that of C5a, but is up to 100-fold greater than that of 5-HETE and of other natural di-HETE isomers. 5(S),12(R)-di-hydroxy-eicosa-6,8,10(all-trans),14(cis)-tetraenoic acid, which differs from leukotriene B only in having a trans-double bond in place of a cis-double bond in the triene portion of the molecule, and acetyl-leukotriene B are significantly less potent neutrophil chemotactic factors than leukotriene B, which indicates that both the conjugated double bonds and the free hydroxyl-group(s) are functionally critical determinants. The capacity of acetyl-leukotriene B to inhibit competitively and selectively the human neutrophil chemotactic response to equimolar concentrations of leukotriene B suggests the existence of a specific subset of receptors for this potent lipid mediator.

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