Platelet-activating-factor (PAF) is a potent, biologically active lipid mediator produced by several tissues, including brain. Its role in the central nervous system (CNS) is still unknown, even if its involvement in brain damage and neurotoxicity has been postulated. Its production by neural cells has been demonstrated in different species, but not in man. This paper provides evidence that PAF can be produced by human fetal neurons and/or glial cells in culture. Its synthesis dramatically increased upon stimulation with acetylcholine (ACh), and it was significantly lowered by the cholinergic receptor antagonist atropine. Almost no PAF was detected in the incubation medium, which indicated no release of PAF from cultured cells. Characterization of the cells in culture with specific monoclonal antibodies excluded the presence of endothelial cells or macrophages, which also produce PAF.
- human fetal brain
- platelet-activating factor (PAF)
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