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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 May;86(10):3479-83.

Plasmenylethanolamine is the major storage depot for arachidonic acid in rabbit vascular smooth muscle and is rapidly hydrolyzed after angiotensin II stimulation.

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Department of Medicine, Washington University, Saint Louis, MO 63110.


The present study demonstrates that rabbit aortic intimal smooth muscle cells contain the majority of their endogenous arachidonic acid mass in plasmenylethanolamine molecular species. To demonstrate the potential significance of these plasmenylethanolamines as substrates for the smooth muscle cell phospholipases that are activated during agonist stimulation, aortic rings were prelabeled with [3H]arachidonic acid and stimulated with angiotensin II. Although the specific activities of the choline and inositol glycerophospholipid pools were similar after the labeling interval, ethanolamine glycerophospholipids had a specific activity of only 20% of the specific activity of choline and inositol glycerophospholipids. Despite the marked disparity in the specific activities of these three phospholipid classes, angiotensin II stimulation resulted in similar fractional losses (35-41%) of [3H]arachidonic acid from vascular smooth muscle choline, ethanolamine, and inositol glycerophospholipid classes. Reverse-phase HPLC demonstrated that greater than 60% of the [3H]arachidonic acid released from ethanolamine glycerophospholipids after angiotensin II stimulation originated from plasmenylethanolamine molecular species. Taken together, the results demonstrate that the major phospholipid storage depot for arachidonic acid in vascular smooth muscle cells are plasmenylethanolamine molecular species which are important substrates for the phospholipase(s) that are activated during agonist stimulation.

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