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Characterization of platelet-activating factor-induced cytosolic calcium mobilization in human eosinophils


Dr Kunio Shirato Professor and Chairman, First Department of Internal Medicine, 1–1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980–8574, Japan.



Activated eosinophils play an important role in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma and other allergic diseases, and platelet-activating factor (PAF) is a potent activator of eosinophils.


To characterize the cytosolic Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) mobilization in human eosinophils in response to PAF.


[Ca2+]i responses to PAF were examined in human eosinophils using a microscopic fura-2 fluorescence-ratio imaging system.


PAF caused a significant and dose-dependent increase in (Ca2+)i, which consisted of an initial rapid rise followed by a sustained elevation. This PAF-induced (Ca2+)i rise was inhibited by WEB 2086, a specific PAF receptor antagonist. The addition of 5 m m EGTA or 1 m m Ni2+ to a nominally Ca2+-free solution did not appreciably reduce the initial rise but significantly inhibited the sustained rise. The application of a protein kinase C inhibitor, Ro31-8220, augmented the sustained increase by PAF. Thapsigargin, a microsomal Ca2+ ATPase inhibitor, induced no appreciable change in a nominally Ca2+-free solution but induced a marked increase in (Ca2+)i when changed to a Ca2+-containing solution.


The initial rapid rise and the following sustained rise in (Ca2+)i by PAF depends on Ca2+ release from the intracellular Ca2+ stores and Ca2+ influx, respectively, which are regulated by protein kinase C in human eosinophils. Furthermore, the so called Ca2+-capacitative entry is possibly involved in the Ca2+ influx from the extracellular solution in human eosinophils.

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