The platelet-activating factor (PAF) signaling cascade evolved as a component of the repertoire of innate host defenses, but is also an effector pathway in inflammatory and thrombotic diseases. This review focuses on the PAF signaling cascade in systemic inflammatory responses and, specifically, explores its activities in experimental and clinical sepsis and anaphylaxis in the context of the basic biochemistry and biology of signaling via this lipid mediator system. © 2010.
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