Gamma- and delta-isomers of hexachlorocyclohexane caused marked decreases in the levels of radioactive phospholipids, and increases in the levels of [3H]arachidonate incorporated into free fatty acids in rat renal tubular cells. The increased radioactivity of free fatty acids arises from the decrease of [3H]arachidonate incorporated into phosphatidylinositol, but not into phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine or phosphatidylethanolamine. This fact suggests that phosphatidylinositol can be broken down to the fatty acid from the sn-2 position and lysophospholipid by a phospholipase activity increased by hexachlorocyclohexanes. The observed specific toxicant action could be achieved in two ways: (a) operating upon a specific phospholipase A2 that acts on phosphatidylinositol, but not on other phospholipids as substrates and/or (b) involving substrate-phospholipase A2 interactions. Interestingly, the observed effect of the γ-isomer was more pronounced than that of the γ-one.

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