It has been shown [Touqui, Jacquemin & Vargaftig (1983) Thromb. Haemostasis 50, 163; Touqui, Jacquemin & Vargaftig (1983) Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 110, 890-893; Alam, Smith & Melvin (1983) Lipids 18, 534-538; Pieroni & Hanahan (1983) Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 224, 485-493] that rabbit platelets inactivate exogenous PAF (platelet-activating factor, PAF-acether) by a deacetylation-reacylation mechanism. The deacetylation step is catalysed by an acetyl hydrolase sensitive to the serine-hydrolase inhibitor PMSF (phenylmethanesulphonyl fluoride) [Touqui, Jacquemin, Dumarey & Vargaftig (1985) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 833, 111-118]. We report here that human platelets can produce PAF on thrombin stimulation. This production is marginal and transient, reaching a maximum at 10 min and decreasing thereafter. In contrast, 10-12 times more PAF is produced when platelets are treated with PMSF and stimulated with thrombin. Under these conditions, the maximum formation is observed at 30 min and no decline occurs for up to 60 min after stimulation. In addition, these platelets (treated with PMSF and stimulated with thrombin) incorporate exogenous labelled acetate in the 2-position of PAF, probably by an acetyltransferase-dependent mechanism. Production of PAF by human platelets during physiological stimulation can be demonstrated when PAF degradation is suppressed by the acetyl-hydrolase inhibitor PMSF.

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