The biological importance of phospholipids was already clear to Thudicum who in 1884 wrote “Phospholipids are the centre, life, and chemical soul of all bioplasm whatsoever, that of plants as well of animals”16. However, for a long time the importance of phospholipids has been considered more structural than functional and pharmacologists have overlooked the possibility that, once released in the extracellular space or administered, they may exert powerful pharmacological actions. These actions may be involved in pathological processes, have toxicological rele-vance or be exploited for therapeutic purposes. The goal of this review is to describe the biological actions of some phospholipids which may be relevant from a pharmacological viewpoint. Details on the mechanisms through which phospholipid interaction with cell membranes brings about some of their actions will be discussed elsewhere (Bruni et al., this symposium).
KeywordsPlatelet Activate Factor Histamine Release Senile Dementia Rabbit Platelet Platelet Activate Factor Antagonist
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