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March 2, 1984

A new piece for the puzzle of inflammation

JAMA. 1984;251(9):1127-1131. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340330005002

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Those "pockets of resistance"—the inflammatory tissue injuries that persist despite aggressive therapy—have led researchers to look for additional mediators of inflammation. Now, they have chemically characterized what one investigator says "may turn out to be one of the most potent mediators known."

R. Neal Pinckard, PhD, says the term "mediators" in this work refers to molecules that are believed to modulate the inflammatory process. The hypothesis is that, even when therapy blocks the action of one or two known mediators of inflammation, some yet-to-be-identified molecule(s) with similar biologic properties may continue to cause tissue injury.

The recently characterized mediator, Pinckard told an American Heart Association forum for science writers in St Petersburg Beach, Fla, is acetyl glyceryl ether phosphorylcholine (1-O-hexadecyl/octadecyl-2acetyl-sn-glyceryl-3-phophorylcholine), or AGEPC. It also has had "the trivial name," he says, of plateletactivating factor, or PAF.

Pinckard, who is professor of pathology and of medicine, University of Texas