Membrane phospholipids are susceptible to oxidation, which is involved in various pathological processes such as inflammation, atherogenesis, neurodegeneration, and aging. One enzyme that may help to remove oxidized phospholipids from cells is intracellular type II platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH (II)), which hydrolyzes oxidatively fragmented fatty acyl chains attached to phospholipids. Overexpression of PAF-AH (II) in cells or tissues was previously shown to suppress oxidative stress-induced cell death. In this study we investigated the functions of PAF-AH (II) by generating PAF-AH (II)-deficient (Pafah2-/-) mice. PAF-AH (II) was predominantly expressed in epithelial cells such as kidney proximal and distal tubules, intestinal column epithelium, and hepatocytes. Although PAF-AH activity was almost abolished in the liver and kidney of Pafah2-/- mice, Pafah2-/- mice developed normally and were phenotypically indistinguishable from wild-type mice. However, mouse embryonic fibroblasts derived from Pafah2-/- mice were more sensitive to tert-butylhydroperoxide treatment than those derived from wild-type mice. When carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) was injected into mice, Pafah2-/- mice showed a delay in hepatic injury recovery. Moreover, after CCl4 administration, liver levels of the esterified form of 8-iso-PGF2α, a known in vitro substrate of PAF-AH (II), were higher in Pafah2-/- mice than in wild-type mice. These results indicate that PAF-AH (II) is involved in the metabolism of esterified 8-isoprostaglandin F2α and protects tissue from oxidative stress-induced injury.
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