Platelet-activating factor in the rabbit uterus during early pregnancy

M. J. Angle, M. A. Jones, L. M. McManus, R. N. Pinckard, M. J.K. Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Platelet-activating factor (PAF) concentrations were low in the non-pregnant oestrous uterus (mean ± s.e.m.: 2.2 ± 1.2 pmol/g, n = 3). However, uterine PAF increased dramatically during pregnancy to a maximum of 37.8 ± 4.90 pmol/g (n = 7) on Day 5. By Day 7, PAF concentrations in the uteri of pregnant rabbits had returned to levels similar to those found at oestrus. In contrast, uterine PAF in pseudopregnant rabbits peaked at 30.6 ± 2.8 pmol/g (n = 8) on Day 4, declined to 20.5 ± 2.4 pmol/g (n = 8) on Day 5 and then remained at that concentration through Day 7. Uterine PAF co-migrated with synthetic PAF (1-0-hexadecyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycero-phosphocholine) in both thin-layer and normal-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. PAF activity in the uterus during pregnancy and pseudopregnancy was found almost exclusively in the endometrium; little or no PAF was found in myometrium, uterine flushings or blastocysts. While no PAF was detected in blastocysts on Days 5 and 6 of pregnancy, the presence of the embryo appears to modulate biosynthesis and/or degradation of PAF by the uterus, since PAF decreased significantly in uterine tissue apposed to the implanting embryo (but not in similar areas between such attachment sites). Increased concentrations of PAF in the preimplantation rabbit uterus followed by a dramatic decrease on the day of blastocyst attachment suggest that this potent inflammatory autacoid may play a vital role in implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-722
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of reproduction and fertility
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Physiology
  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology


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