Platelet-activating factor (PAF) and bacteremia both cause small intestinal (SI) hypoperfusion which may contribute to mucosal injury, and PAF has been postulated to mediate impaired SI microvascular blood flow during sepsis. Our previous studies demonstrate that sepsis-induced SI hypoperfusion is associated with both arteriolar and venular constriction, but the microvascular mechanisms by which PAF impairs SI blood flow are not well defined. Microcirculation studies in other tissues indicate that PAF is an arteriolar dilator, but this effect in the SI would not explain PAF-mediated hypoperfusion. We studied the effects of PAF on SI microvessels to characterize the microvascular mechanisms which mediate PAF-induced hypoperfusion. We also determined the role of PAF as a mediator of microvascular effects in the intestine during bacteremia by PAF receptor antagonism. Animals received either 10(9) live Escherichia coli IV or PAF applied topically to the SI (30, 80, and 300 nM). Arteriolar and venular diameters and red blood cell velocity (A1, V1) were measured with intravital microscopy and velocimetry. Both PAF and sepsis resulted in impaired SI blood flow (maximum decrease in blood flow -37 and 65%, respectively), but sepsis was associated with both arteriolar and venular constriction (20 and 30% diameter reduction each), whereas PAF produced only venular constriction (50% diameter reduction). Inhibition of PAF action prevented the microvascular alterations of bacteremia (blood flow unchanged, P < 0.05; venular diameter unchanged, P < 0.05), suggesting that PAF is an important mediator of these responses.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995QD06700007
View details for PubMedID 7830404