The effects of in vitro changes in calcium and albumin on human platelet arachidonic acid metabolism were evaluated. Hypoalbuminemia enhanced the conversion of released 14C-arachidonic acid from prelabeled platelet phospholipids to the metabolites of the platelet cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways. This effect was, however, associated with a decreased release of arachidonic acid in the presence of hypoalbuminemia, such that the overall conversion of released 14C- arachidonic acid to platelet thromboxane B2 was similar in the presence of physiologic albumin concentration (3.5 g/dl) or at decreased albumin concentrations of 0.7 and 0.0 g/dl. External calcium was shown to be important for optimal platelet arachidonic acid release, with maximal release occurring at 1 mM calcium.

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