Washed rabbit platelets were resuspended in plasma in which all of the major phospholipids had been isotopically labeled by injection of 32PO4 into rabbits. At certain time intervals during a 6-hr incubation at 37 degrees C, aliquots were removed from the incubation mixture and the platelets were isolated and subjected to lipid extraction and phospholipid analysis. A continuous rise in platelet non-lipid-bound and lipid-bound radioactivity was observed through-out the incubation period. Two platelet phospholipids, lecithin and lysolecithin, were significantly labeled, whereas little or no labeling of the other phospholipids was found. There was no detectable change in total or individual platelet phospholipid content. At 6 hr, 4% of total platelet phospholipid, 43% of platelet lysolecithin, and 7% of platelet lecithin were labeled. Platelets incubated in plasma from rabbits with diet- induced hyperlipidemia took up and incorporated significantly more label into their phospholipids than did platelets in normal plasma. Labeling of both platelet lysolecithin and lecithin could be due to uptake and metabolism of plasma lysolecithin by platelets. However, labeling of platelet lecithin could at least in part be the result of direct exchange of this phospholipid with the plasma. Uptake and incorporation of endogenous plasma lysolecithin by platelets and, possibly, direct exchanged of platelet lecithin may be important mechanisms in the modification by plasma lipids of platelet membrane phospholipid fatty acid composition and platelet function.

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