Platelet-activating factor (PAF) is a potent biological mediator; it activates platelets and has various effects on other tissues, including CNS, where it is involved in regulation of neuronal plasticity, inflammation, apoptosis, etc. The PAF receptors are found in microglia, where their activation induces a robust [Ca2+]j elevation, originating from both Ca2+ release from the ER and Ca2+ influx. PAF receptors have also been identified in cultured astrocytes; activation of astroglial PAF receptors may induce the release of prostaglandins and may also mediate cell death.
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