Although platelet-activating factor (PAF) is a well-known acute inflammatory mediator, little is known regarding the role of PAF in chronic inflammation. Phorbol esters are known to stimulate PAF production. Moreover, the ability of repeated applications of phorbol esters to induce a sustained inflammatory response is crucial to their tumorigenic activity. We therefore examined whether PAF acts as a mediator of phorbol ester-induced inflammation and tumorigenesis. While PAF receptor knockout mice (PAFR (-/-)) showed an expected but modest reduction in the acute inflammatory response to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), these mice exhibited a surprising increase in inflammation following chronic PMA application. This increased inflammation was documented by a number of findings that included: increased skin thickness, increased myeloperoxidase activity and expression and increased expression of known inflammatory mediators. Interestingly, vehicle-treated PAFR(-/-) mice also exhibited modest increases in levels of inflammatory markers. This suggests that the platelet activating factor receptor (PAFR) acts to suppress chronic inflammation in response to other stimuli, such as barrier disruption. The idea that chronic PAFR activation is anti-inflammatory was documented by repetitive topical PAFR agonist administration that resulted in reduced myeloperoxidase activity in skin. We next utilized a 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene/PMA carcinogenesis protocol to demonstrate that PAFR (-/-) mice exhibit significantly increased tumor formation and malignant progression compared with wild-type control mice. These studies provide evidence for two important, unexpected and possibly interrelated pathological roles for the PAFR: first, the PAFR acts to suppress PMA-induced chronic inflammation; secondly, the PAFR acts to suppress neoplastic development in response to chemical carcinogens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research