Enhancement of hippocampal excitatory synaptic transmission by platelet-activating factor

Gary D. Clark, Leo T. Happel, Charles F. Zorumski, Nicolas G. Bazan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

175 Scopus citations


The biologically active lipid platelet-activating factor (1-O-alkyl-2-acetykn-glycero-3-phosphorylcholine, PAF) is a mediator of inflammatory and immune responses, and it accumulates in the brain during convulsions or ischemia. We have examined whether PAF may play a second messenger role in the central nervous system by studying effects on synaptic transmission in cultured hippocampal neurons. Carbamyl-PAF, a nonhydrolyzable PAF analog with a similar pharmacologic profile, augmented glutamate-mediated, evoked excitatory synaptic transmission and increased the frequency of spontaneous miniature excitatory synaptic events without increasing their amplitude or altering their time course. This compound had no significant effect on γ-aminobutyric acid-mediated inhibitory synaptic responses. Lyso-PAF, the biologically inactive metabolic intermediate, had no effect on synaptic transmission. Moreover, the enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission by carbamyl-PAF was blocked by a PAF receptor antagonist. These results indicate a specific presynaptic effect of PAF in enhancing excitatory synaptic transmission in cultured rat hippocampal neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1211-1216
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1992

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