Platelet-activating factor is a general membrane perturbant Academic Article Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Gramicidin
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Membrane Transport Proteins


  • Platelet-activating factor (PAF) is, at physiological (nanomolar) concentrations, a potent mediator of inflammation and coagulation. At pharmacological (micromolar) concentrations, PAF induces a variety of effects in diverse tissues. Here we show that PAF at micromolar concentrations is a membrane perturbant. Micromolar PAF alters the properties of channels formed by gramicidin A, and at concentrations greater than or equal to 4 microM disrupts the barrier properties of the host lipid bilayer. PAF thus can act as a detergent and non-specifically alter the behavior of membranes and membrane proteins. This may provide an explanation for some of the effects of PAF seen at high concentrations in vitro.

publication date

  • December 11, 1989



  • Academic Article


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0005-2736(89)90464-1

PubMed ID

  • 2480815

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 129

end page

  • 32


  • 987


  • 1