The experimental evidence described here indicates that PAF plays an important role in the regulation of the immune response. In addition to directly modulating immune processes and cytokine production as described above, PAF can also influence the activity of other mediators, which in turn can modulate lymphocyte function. These substances include cationic proteins and other suppressive factors released from activated eosinophils, and leukotri-enes, prostaglandins and neuropeptides. Indeed, the ability of very low concentrations of PAF to both prime and amplify cell responses indicates that the mediator acts as an important amplifier of immuno-inflammatory responses. Investigations with PAF antagonists will allow further elucidation of these processes and may lead to the development of these compounds as valuable immunomodulatory drugs.

See also: Eosinophil chemotactic factors; Fc receptors; Graft rejection; Macrophage activation; Monocytes; Natural killer (NK) cells; Neutrophils; Recruitment.

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