LPS priming of the neutrophil results in enhanced release of superoxide upon subsequent stimulation, but the mechanism of this effect remains obscure. The recent recognition that neutrophils synthesize and retain platelet-activating factor within the cell led us to hypothesize that enhanced synthesis of platelet-activating factor in the LPS-primed cell might account for the observed effects of lipopolysaccharide. Using human neutrophils isolated on plasma-Percoll gradients, we found that incubation with 100 ng/ml LPS for 60 min resulted in a small but significant increase in intracellular platelet-activating factor assessed after lipid extraction, TLC, and bioassay. The further stimulation of primed neutrophils with FMLP resulted in a marked increase in neutrophil platelet-activating factor compared with non-LPS-treated controls. The priming effect of LPS was time dependent (30 to 60 min), dose dependent, and inhibited at 0 degree C and did not require protein synthesis. Platelet-activating factor so generated was not released but rather retained within the neutrophil, and the molecular species of platelet-activating factor produced was predominantly 1-O-hexadecyl-2-acetyl-sn-3-phosphorylcholine. Platelet-activating factor production in LPS-treated neutrophils was also enhanced by PMA, suggesting that receptor-mediated events could not account exclusively for the enhancement. Considering the ability of nanomolar concentrations of exogenously added platelet-activating factor to prime the neutrophil for enhanced release of superoxide, the rapid intracellular accumulation of platelet-activating factor that accompanies stimulation of an LPS-primed cell by FMLP may modulate the secretory events that accompany such stimulation.

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