Roles of secretory phospholipases A(2) in inflammatory diseases and trauma

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Oct 31;1488(1-2):83-90. doi: 10.1016/s1388-1981(00)00112-8.


Six distinct secretory small molecular weight phospholipases A(2) (PLA(2)) have been cloned and characterized from human tissues. Two of them, pancreatic group IB PLA(2) (PLA(2)-IB) and synovial-type group IIA PLA(2) (PLA(2)-IIA) have been studied as to their association to various inflammatory diseases. PLA(2)-IB is a digestive enzyme synthesized by pancreatic acinar cells. In acute pancreatitis, which is characterized by destruction of pancreatic tissue, PLA(2)-IB is released into the circulation, but its role in pancreatic and other tissue damage is still hypothetical. The concentration of PLA(2)-IIA increases in blood plasma in generalized inflammatory response resulting from infections, chronic inflammatory diseases, acute pancreatitis, trauma and surgical operations. PLA(2)-IIA is synthesized in a number of gland cells and is present in cellular secretions on mucosal surfaces including Paneth cells of intestinal mucosa, prostatic gland cells and seminal plasma, and lacrimal glands and tears. PLA(2)-IIA is expressed in hepatoma-derived cells in vitro and hepatocytes in vivo. PLA(2)-IIA is regarded as an acute phase protein and seems to function as an antibacterial agent especially effective against Gram-positive bacteria. Other putative functions in the inflammatory reaction include hydrolysis of cell membrane phospholipids and release of arachidonic acid for prostanoid synthesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Proteins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Exudates and Transudates / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Infections / blood
  • Infections / enzymology
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / enzymology*
  • Pancreatitis / enzymology
  • Phospholipases A / classification
  • Phospholipases A / metabolism*
  • Wounds and Injuries / blood
  • Wounds and Injuries / enzymology*


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Phospholipases A