Radiation-induced increased platelet-activating factor activity in mixed saliva

L. M. McManus, K. K. Ostrom, C. Lear, E. B. Luce, D. L. Gander, R. N. Pinckard, S. W. Redding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Platelet-activating factor (PAF), a family of structurally- related phospholipid mediators of inflammation, is present in normal human mixed saliva; however, its role in oral biology and the homeostasis of oral host defense mechanisms remains to be established. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The current study was designed to evaluate the salivary levels of PAF in patients with oral mucositis that developed as a complication of head and neck irradiation for oral cancer. PAF activity was assessed in platelet bioassay and expressed relative to the activity of authentic PAF, 1-O-hexadecyl-2- acetyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (C16:0-AGEPC). RESULTS: A significant increase in salivary PAF levels was observed in patients with mucositis (47,032 ± 12,731 C16:0-AGEPC fmole equivalents/ml of saliva, mean ± SE, N = 7) as compared with normal subjects (5,568 ± 1,135 C16:0-AGEPC fmole equivalents/ml of saliva, N = 27). Phospholipid fractionation of the PAF isolated from the saliva of patients with mucositis by reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography revealed a single peak of activity that corresponded with the elution profile of C16:0-AGEPC, the most biologically active molecular species of PAF. In contrast, the PAF isolated from normal human mixed saliva contained multiple molecular species of PAF. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that this potent phospholipid inflammatory mediator may play a role in the inflammation and tissue injury associated with mucositis resulting from radiation treatment for oral cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993


  • Cancer
  • Inflammation
  • Neutrophils
  • Oral Mucositis
  • Radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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