Platelet activating factor (PAF) has been proposed as a key factor and initial trigger in atherosclerosis. Recently, a modulation of PAF metabolism by bioactive food constituents has been suggested. In this study we investigated the effect of fish polar lipid consumption on PAF metabolism.
The specific activities of four PAF metabolic enzymes; in leukocytes, platelets and plasma, and PAF concentration; either in blood cells or plasma were determined. Samples were acquired at the beginning and at the end of a previously conducted study in male New Zealand white rabbits that were fed for 45 days with atherogenic diet supplemented (group-B, n = 6) or not (group-A, n = 6) with gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) polar lipids.The specific activity of PAF-Acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH); a catabolic enzyme of PAF, was decreased in rabbits' platelets of both A and B groups and in rabbits' leukocytes of group A (p < 0.05). On the other hand the specific activity of Lipoprotein-associated Phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2); the catabolic enzyme of PAF in plasma was increased in both A and B groups in both leukocytes and platelets (p < 0.05). PAF-cholinephosphotransferase (PAF-CPT); a biosynthetic enzyme of PAF showed increased specific activity only in rabbits' leukocytes of group A (p < 0.05). Neither of the two groups showed any change in Lyso-PAF-acetyltransferase (Lyso-PAF-AT) specific activity (p > 0.05). Free and bound PAF levels increased in group A while decreased in group B (p < 0.05).
Gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) polar lipids modulate PAF metabolism upon atherosclerotic conditions in rabbits leading to lower PAF levels and activity in blood of rabbits with reduced early atherosclerotic lesions compared to control group.