Platelet-activating factor (PAF) in experimental and clinical sepsis

Shock. 1997 Jun;7(6):391-404. doi: 10.1097/00024382-199706000-00001.


Despite considerable progress in understanding the pathogenic mechanisms of Gram-negative sepsis, the outcome of septic patients has not significantly improved. There are ample data that support a role for inflammatory mediators in sepsis that act in synergy with infectious agents to initiate and propagate the disease process. One such mediator is the glycerophospholipid platelet-activating factor (PAF). The objective of the present review is to summarize experimental and clinical evidence implicating PAF as a mediator in the pathomechanism of sepsis. This review is timely because many potent and selective PAF antagonists have matured for clinical development and a careful analysis of the data that support or refute the merit of clinical trials with such compounds may be important for both academic and pharmaceutical applications.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Platelet Activating Factor / physiology*
  • Sepsis / metabolism*


  • Platelet Activating Factor