Thermal Burn Injury Generates Bioactive Microvesicles: Evidence for a Novel Transport Mechanism for the Lipid Mediator Platelet-Activating Factor (PAF) That Involves Subcellular Particles and the PAF Receptor

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Thermal burn injuries are an important environmental stressor that can result in considerable morbidity and mortality. The exact mechanism by which an environmental stimulus to skin results in local and systemic effects is an area of active research. One potential mechanism to allow skin keratinocytes to disperse bioactive substances is via microvesicle particles, which are subcellular bodies released directly from cellular membranes. Our previous studies have indicated that thermal burn injury of the skin keratinocyte in vitro results in the production of the lipid mediator platelet-activating factor (PAF). The present studies demonstrate that thermal burn injury to keratinocytes in vitro and human skin explants ex vivo, and mice in vivo generate microvesicle particles. Use of pharmacologic and genetic tools indicates that the optimal release of microvesicles is dependent upon the PAF receptor. Of note, burn injury-stimulated microvesicle particles do not carry appreciable protein cytokines yet contain high levels of PAF. These studies describe a novel mechanism involving microvesicle particles by which a metabolically labile bioactive lipid can travel from cells in response to environmental stimuli.



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