In the present study it is demonstrated that platelet-activating factor (PAF) was produced by chick retinas, upon stimulation with neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine (ACh), dopamine, or with calcium ionophore A23187, but not upon stimulation with gamma-amino-n-butyric acid, L-glycine, L-glutamate, epinephrine, or histamine. PAF produced in response to ACh, dopamine, or A23187 was not released into supernatants but was extractable from retinas. The amounts of extractable PAF increased after sonication of stimulated retinas. While no PAF activity could be recovered from unstimulated retinas, small amounts of this lipid can be detected following sonication of the tissue. The amount of extractable PAF from ACh-, dopamine-, or A23187-stimulated retinas was dependent upon the incubation time and concentration of the agonists. PAF was identified on the basis of chemical and lipase treatments, biological activity with washed rabbit platelets, behavior on thin layer chromatography, and high pressure liquid chromatography. Control cell preparations (leukocytes, erythrocytes, and embryogenic fibroblasts) did not produce PAF upon neurotransmitter stimulation. ACh and dopamine promoted PAF production by increasing dithiothreitol-insensitive cholinephosphotransferase activity, without affecting the acetyltransferase activity. In contrast, the A23187 ionophore stimulated the acetyltransferase activity but did not affect the dithiothreitol-insensitive cholinephosphotransferase.
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