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Thromb Res. 2008;122 Suppl 1:S37-41. doi: 10.1016/S0049-3848(08)70017-3.

Internalization of tissue factor by platelets.

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  • 1Servicio de Hemoterapia y Hemostasia, Hospital Clinic, Centre de Diagnostic Biomedic, IDIBAPS, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain.


Tissue factor (TF) has been found associated with platelets. Mechanisms responsible for TF-platelet interactions and transport are not fully understood. We explored the response of isolated washed platelets to preparations of recombinant (rTF) or placental (pTF) human TF, exposed on lipid microvesicles (MVs). Sequential ultrastructural and immunocytochemical studies revealed trafficking of these TF preparations, being endocytosed by platelets into channels of the open canalicular system (OCS) and accumulating in the cytoplasm and occasionally in alpha-granules. The process of internalization of TF-MVs was accomplished in less than 30 min, being faster for the placental (pTF) than for the recombinant (rTF) preparation. Signs of mild platelet activation with pseudopodia formation were observed at early stages of internalization. Platelets returned to an apparent resting state after 5-10 min. All of these observations paralleled with modifications on patterns of tyrosine phosphorylation for several signaling proteins. Our studies demonstrate that platelets possess mechanisms to capture and incorporate TF-rich vesicles. These processes were accelerated by the presence of other contaminating cellular antigens in the vesicles (pTF). TF carried by platelets could play a potential role in platelet thrombus formation and by extension in the development of ischemic complications.

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