Proliferation-dependent Changes in Release of Arachidonic Acid from Endothelial Cells

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Stimulation of endothelial cells resulted in release of arachidonic acid from phospholipids.The magnitude of this response decreased as the cells became confluent and the change coincided with a decrease in the percentage of cells in growth phases (G2 + M); this was not a consequence of time in culture or a factor in the growth medium. Preconfluent cells released (approximately) 30% of arachidonic acid; confluent cells released only 6%. The decreasing release of arachidonic acid was demonstrated using metabolic labeling, mass measurements of arachidonic acid, and measurement of PGI2. The decrease was not due to a changing pool of arachidonic acid, and mass measurements showed no depletion of arachidonic acid. Release from each phospholipid and from each phospholipid class decreased with confluence. Conversion of confluent cells to the proliferative phenotype by mechanical wounding of the monolayer caused increased release of arachidonic acid. Potential mechanisms for these changes were investigated using assays of phospholipase activity. Phospholipase A2 activity changed in concert with the alteration in release, a consequence of changes in phosphorylation of the enzyme. The increased release of arachidonic acid from preconfluent, actively dividing cells may have important physiologic implications and may help elucidate mechanisms regulating release of arachidonic acid. (J. Clin. Invest. 1994. 94:1889-1900.) Key words: arachidonic acid. phospholipid. endothelial cell. phospholipase. cyclooxygenase

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