Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase-Mediated Monounsaturated Fatty Acid Availability Supports Humoral Immunity

Cell Rep. 2021 Jan 5;34(1):108601. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108601.


Immune cells can metabolize glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids (FAs) to generate energy. The roles of different FA species and their impacts on humoral immunity remain poorly understood. Here, we report that proliferating B cells require monounsaturated FAs (MUFAs) to maintain mitochondrial metabolism and mTOR activity and to prevent excessive autophagy and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Furthermore, B cell-extrinsic stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) activity generates MUFA to support early B cell development and germinal center (GC) formation in vivo during immunization and influenza infection. Thus, SCD-mediated MUFA production is critical for humoral immunity.

Keywords: B cell; autophagy; humoral immunity; mTOR; monounsaturated fatty acid; stearoyl-CoA desaturase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy
  • B-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated / immunology*
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated / metabolism*
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Immunity, Humoral*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Orthomyxoviridae / immunology
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / immunology
  • Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase / physiology*
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / immunology
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*


  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase
  • mTOR protein, mouse
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases