Addition of physiological concentrations (10(-12)-10(-8)M) of platelet-activating factor (PAF) to rabbit iris muscle induced a rapid release (in 15s) of prostaglandin (PG)E2 and 6-oxo-PGF1 alpha, measured by radioimmunoassay and rapid release of 14C-labelled arachidonate and PGE2 in muscle prelabelled with [14C]arachidonic acid, measured by radiochromatography. These PAF actions are concentration- and time-dependent. The effect of PAF on PG release is not mediated through the cyclo-oxygenase pathway. The studies on the properties and mechanism of arachidonate release from phosphatidylinositol and other phospholipids in prelabelled irides by PAF suggest the involvement of a phospholipase A2. This conclusion is supported by the findings: (a) that both the removal of arachidonate and formation of lysophosphatidylinositol, from phosphatidylinositol, by PAF occur concomitantly in a time-dependent manner, (b) that Ca2+ is required for the agonist-induced release of arachidonate and PGE2, and (c) that in contrast to the rapid release of [3H]myo-inositol phosphates by carbachol and other Ca2+-mobilizing agonists previously reported in the iris muscle [Akhtar & Abdel-Latif (1984) Biochem. J. 224, 291-300], PAF (10(-12)-10(-8)M) did not appreciably enhance the release of [14C]myo-inositol phosphates and 32P labelling of phosphatidate and phosphatidylinositol in this tissue. Ca2+-channel antagonists, such as nifedipine, verapamil, diltiazem and manganese inhibited PAF-induced arachidonate and PGE2 release in a dose-dependent manner. K+ depolarization, which causes influx of extracellular Ca2+ in smooth muscle, did not increase the release of arachidonate and PGE2. The ability of Ca2+ antagonists to inhibit arachidonate release by PAF in this tissue probably reflects interference with PAF binding to its receptor. The PAF-induced release of arachidonate and PGE2 occur independently of the cyclo-oxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways. Whether the PAF-induced release of arachidonate and PG in the iris muscle is involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and/or physiological reactions in the eye, and how much the inhibitory effects of Ca2+-entry blockers on the PAF actions contribute to the therapeutic use of these drugs, remain to be established.

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