Platelet-activating factor augments lipopolysaccharide-induced nitric oxide formation by rat Kupffer cells

Shamimunisa B. Mustafa, Katherine M. Howard, Merle S. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Acute endotoxic shock is accompanied by an increase in the production of nitric oxide (NO) by several different hepatic cell types. Platelet- activating factor (PAF) is a potent proinflammatory mediator with many pathophysiological actions and, in fact, elevated plasma and tissue levels of PAF are observed in animal models of endotoxic shock. The current study demonstrates that PAF induced nitrite formation, the end product of nitric oxide synthesis, by Kupffer cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Moreover, PAF was seen to initiate NO synthase gene expression and protein synthesis. PAF augmented lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase messenger RNA (mRNA), protein, nitrite and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) levels in Kupffer cells. Treatment of Kupffer cells with actinomycin D or cycloheximide inhibited PAF- and LPS- stimulated nitrite and nitric oxide synthase protein formation confirming that de novo synthesis of the enzyme occurred. In Kupffer cells, the presence of an arginine analog, N(G)-methyl-L-arginine, attenuated nitrite formation induced by PAF and LPS alone or in combination. L-arginine is the principal substrate for nitric oxide synthase. PAF and LPS individually and in combination induced a time-dependent uptake of L-[3H]-arginine into the Kupffer cell, and this response was sensitive to cycloheximide. The current study indicates that exogenous PAF contributes to the induction of nitric oxide synthase by LPS in cultured rat Kupffer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1622-1630
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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