Resident mouse peritoneal macrophages have three phospholipase activities: a phospholipase A2 active at pH 4.5, a Ca2+-dependent phospholipase A2 active at pH 8.5 and a phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C activity. When macrophages are exposed to zymosan in culture, the cellular activity of pH-4.5 phospholipase A2 is diminished in a manner dependent on zymosan concentration and time of exposure, whereas the cellular activities of pH-8.5 phospholipase A2 and phospholipase C remain unchanged. The depletion of pH-4.5 phospholipase A2 activity from the cell is paralleled by a quantitative recovery of this activity in the culture medium in a manner similar to the cellular depletion and extracellular recovery of two lysosomal enzymes. This release is specifically elicited by an inflammatory substance such as zymosan, since macrophages incubated with 6 micrometer latex spheres retain pH-4.5 phospholipase A2 activity and lysosomal enzyme activities intracellularly.

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