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Clonidine increases membrane-associated phospholipase A2

  • U. S. R. Helfrich (a1), M. Schley (a1), G. A. Petroianu (a2), J. Schmeck (a3) and C. Konrad (a1)...



Background and objective: An anti-inflammatory effect of α2-adrenoreceptor agonists has been suggested. Phospholipase A2 is a key enzyme in the production of precursors of inflammatory lipid mediators. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of clonidine on phospholipase A2 activity in an established in vitro model. Methods: Human being platelet membranes containing active phospholipase A2 were exposed to buffer control or to three increasing concentrations of clonidine. Phospholipase A2 was measured by a radioisotope technique. Results: A massive increase in phospholipase A2 activity was measured after clonidine exposure leading to final values of 92.5 ± 3.1 pmol mg protein−1 min−1 (4.5-fold higher than control values; P ≤ 0.01 vs. control). After clonidine exposure the maximal reaction velocity increased, while the Michaelis–Menten constant did not change. The Lineweaver–Burk representation suggested an interaction of clonidine with the phospholipase A2–substrate complex as well as the phospholipase A2 molecule. Conclusion: We conclude that the putative anti-inflammatory effect of clonidine was not caused by inhibition of phospholipase A2.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Ursula S. R. Helfrich/Christoph Konrad, Department of Anaesthesiology and Operative Intensive Care Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Medicine Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1–3, 68131 Mannheim, Germany. E-mail:; Tel: +49 621 383 2415; Fax: +49 621 383 1932


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Clonidine increases membrane-associated phospholipase A2

  • U. S. R. Helfrich (a1), M. Schley (a1), G. A. Petroianu (a2), J. Schmeck (a3) and C. Konrad (a1)...


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