In contrast to our previous report (Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 134:587, 1986), we now find that protein kinase C (PKC) is mobilized in human polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) stimulated with platelet-activating factor (PAF) or leukotriene (LT)B4. Thus nanomolar concentrations of each compound caused PMN to lose cytosolic, PKC-specific protein phosphorylating activity, as well as receptors for phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). Smaller gains in membrane-associated PMA receptors accompanied these changes. Diacylglycerol and PMA had very similar effects on PKC. However, unlike these direct PKC activators, PAF and LTB4 induced only moderate decreases in cytosolic PKC; acted only on PMN pretreated with cytochalasin B; did not mobilize PKC in disrupted PMN or activate PKC in a cell-free system; and with respect to PAF, induced responses that partially reversed within 30 min. Furthermore, PAF, LTB4, and several of their structural analogues mobilized PKC at concentrations correlating closely with their respective affinities for cellular LTB4 or PAF receptors. Thus PAF and LTB4 acted by indirect and apparently receptor-mediated mechanisms. Four observations indicated that the cytochalasin B-dependent degranulating actions of PAF and LTB4 involved PKC. First, PKC mobilization and degranulation occurred at the same stimulus concentrations. Second, 5-hydroxyicosatetraenoate dramatically enhanced both PKC mobilization and degranulation when elicited by PAF; it had relatively little influence on LTB4-induced responses. Third, PAF-induced mobilization (t1/2 less than 7 sec) preceded degranulation (t1/2 approximately 20 sec). Finally, a PKC blocker, polymyxin B, was similarly effective in inhibiting degranulation responses to PAF, LTB4, and PMA. Because stimulated PMN may produce and use PAF, LTB4, and 5-hydroxyicosatetraenoate as secondary intracellular mediators, our results implicate PKC as a central and potentially critical regulator of function.

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