Plasma PAF-acetylhydrolase: an unfulfilled promise?

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2006 Nov;1761(11):1351-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2006.05.008. Epub 2006 May 23.


Plasma Platelet-activating-Factor (PAF)-acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH also named lipoprotein-PLA(2) or PLA(2)G7 gene) is secreted by macrophages, it degrades PAF and oxidation products of phosphatidylcholine produced upon LDL oxidation and/or oxidative stress, and thus is considered as a potentially anti-inflammatory enzyme. Cloning of PAF-AH has sustained tremendous promises towards the use of PAF-AH recombinant protein in clinical situations. The reason for that stems from the numerous animal models of inflammation, atherosclerosis or sepsis, where raising the levels of circulating PAF-AH either through recombinant protein infusion or through the adenoviral gene transfer showed to be beneficial. Unfortunately, neither in human asthma nor in sepsis the recombinant PAF-AH showed sufficient efficacy. One of the most challenging questions nowadays is as to whether PAF-AH is pro- or anti-atherogenic in humans, as PAF-AH may possess a dual pro- and anti-inflammatory role, depending on the concentration and the availability of potential substrates. It is equally possible that the plasma level of PAF-AH is a diagnostic marker of ongoing atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 1-Alkyl-2-acetylglycerophosphocholine Esterase / metabolism*
  • 1-Alkyl-2-acetylglycerophosphocholine Esterase / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / metabolism
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / enzymology
  • Atherosclerosis / diagnosis
  • Atherosclerosis / drug therapy
  • Atherosclerosis / enzymology*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / enzymology
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction / drug effects
  • Phosphatidylcholines / metabolism
  • Platelet Activating Factor / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Sepsis / drug therapy
  • Sepsis / enzymology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Platelet Activating Factor
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • 1-Alkyl-2-acetylglycerophosphocholine Esterase