It is widely accepted that the activation of the NADPH oxidase of phagocytes is linked to the stimulation of protein kinase C by diacylglycerol formed by hydrolysis of phospholipids. The main source would be choline containing phospholipid via phospholipase D and phosphatidate phosphohydrolase. This paper presents a condition where the activation of the respiratory burst by FMLP correlates with the formation of phosphatidic acid, via phospholipase D, and not with that of diacylglycerol. In fact: 1) in neutrophils treated with propranolol, an inhibitor of phosphatidate phosphohydrolase, FMLP plus cytochalasin B induces a respiratory burst associated with a stimulation of phospholipase D, formation of phosphatidic acid and complete inhibition of that of diacylglycerol. 2) The respiratory burst by FMLP plus cytochalasin B lasts a few minutes and may be restimulated by propranolol which induces an accumulation of phosphatidic acid. 3) In neutrophils stimulated by FMLP in the absence of cytochalasin B propranolol causes an accumulation of phosphatidic acid and a marked enhancement of the respiratory burst without formation of diacylglycerol. 4) The inhibition of the formation of phosphatidic acid via phospholipase D by butanol inhibits the respiratory burst by FMLP.
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