Platelet-activating factor (PAF) is a phospholipid mediator with major immunoregulatory activities. Macrophages produce PAF acetylhydrolase activity, which regulates blood PAF concentrations. Macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) is involved in the differentiation and functions of cells from the monocytic/macrophagic lineage. We found that murine macrophagic J774 cells metabolized PAF with lyso PAF as the major metabolite product. As in mouse plasma, the metabolism of PAF by J774 cells was not inhibited by PMSF, p-BPB, DTNB and quinacrine, M-CSF (100-5000 U/ml) significantly decreased PAF acetylhydrolase activity of the J774 cell without exhibiting a significant effect on cell growth. Elevated concentrations of M-CSF are found in blood and tissues during inflammatory states. It could be suggested that a decreased PAF catabolism by tissue macrophages in response to M-CSF may induce local elevated PAF concentrations, thus amplifying the inflammatory response.