Summary. The platelet-activating factor (PAF) produced by mouse embryos showed similar kinetics of action and dose—response curve, in a bioassay, as did 1-0-alkyl-2-acetyl-sn-glyceryl-3-phosphocholine (PAF-acether). The activity of the embryo-derived PAF was not affected by inhibitors of the ADP (pyruvate kinase with phosphoenol pyruvate) or cyclo-oxygenase (indomethacin) pathways of platelet activation. Chlorpromazine, an inhibitor of the PAF-acether pathway of platelet activation, caused a significant inhibition of the effects of embryo-derived PAF. Phospholipases A2, C and D significantly inhibited the activity while lipase had no effect, suggesting a phospholipid structure. All the embryo-derived PAF was found in the chloroform fraction after chloroform:methanol (2:1 v/v) extraction, as was PAF-acether. Both factors migrated at a similar rate (Rf0·10–0·12) on silica thin-layer chromatography (chloroform:methanol:water; 65:35:4 by vol.). The embryo-derived PAF therefore displays chemical, biochemical and physiological properties similar to those of PAF-acether.
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