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Dig Dis Sci. 1992 Oct;37(10):1583-92.

Significance and regulation of gastric secretion of platelet-activating factor (PAF-acether) in man.

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Service d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie, CHU Bichat, Paris, France.


Platelet-activating factor (PAF) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of acute inflammatory and ulcerative diseases of the upper gastrointestinal tract. In the present study, we compared the gastric output of PAF and its precursors with gastric acid output, in patients with various upper gastrointestinal tract diseases and healthy controls. PAF and precursors were also extracted from gastric biopsies from subjects with chronic gastritis and/or gastric colonization by Helicobacter pylori. Under basal conditions, hourly gastric PAF output increased in esophagitis and erosive gastritis, but not in duodenal ulcer or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. In the gastric juice of duodenal ulcer patients, PAF output rose after secretin, but in patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, PAF was only detected when gastric acid secretion had been reduced by antisecretory drugs and no concurrent changes were observed in serum gastrin levels. After pentagastrin, patients and controls exhibited a significant decrease in PAF output and a negative correlation was found between PAF and acid outputs (r = -0.57, p < 0.01). When PAF was incubated with gastric juice in vitro, it underwent degradation irrespective of the medium pH. We found no relation between the outputs of PAF and precursors and the severity of gastritis or gastric colonization by H. pylori. Overall, these results suggest that PAF might be released in the stomach by gastric epithelial cells and could be responsible for mucosal injury of the upper gastrointestinal tract.

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