Phospholipid methylation and arachidonic acid release in renal-cortical slices was investigated in vitro after addition of plasma from uninephrectomized or sham-operated rats. Plasma from uninephrectomized rats (‘uni-plasma’) stimulated phospholipid methylation when obtained within the first 3 h after uninephrectomy. With different amounts of added plasma a graded response in phospholipid methylation was obtained. Addition of 50 nM-12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate for 10 min to intact slices also stimulated phospholipid methylation, whereas incubation of slices before addition of ‘uni-plasma’ with 100 microM-1-(5-isoquinolinylsulphonyl)-2-methylpiperazine prevented it, suggesting that protein kinase C stimulates phospholipid methylation in renal-cortical slices. Plasma from uninephrectomized rats also stimulates [3H]arachidonic acid release from phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PtdEtn) via activation of phospholipase A2. Two mechanisms of phospholipase A2 activation are proposed: first, in which it is activated by protein kinase C and releases 3H radioactivity from PtdCho, and second, in which phospholipase A2 is stimulated by Ca2+ ions and releases 3H radioactivity from PtdEtn.

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