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Cell. 2009 Dec 11;139(6):1143-56. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.11.001.

Platelet polyphosphates are proinflammatory and procoagulant mediators in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery and Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm S-171 76, Sweden.


Platelets play a central role in thrombosis, hemostasis, and inflammation. We show that activated platelets release inorganic polyphosphate (polyP), a polymer of 60-100 phosphate residues that directly bound to and activated the plasma protease factor XII. PolyP-driven factor XII activation triggered release of the inflammatory mediator bradykinin by plasma kallikrein-mediated kininogen processing. PolyP increased vascular permeability and induced fluid extravasation in skin microvessels of mice. Mice deficient in factor XII or bradykinin receptors were resistant to polyP-induced leakage. PolyP initiated clotting of plasma via the contact pathway. Ablation of intrinsic coagulation pathway proteases factor XII and factor XI protected mice from polyP-triggered lethal pulmonary embolism. Targeting polyP with phosphatases interfered with procoagulant activity of activated platelets and blocked platelet-induced thrombosis in mice. Addition of polyP restored defective plasma clotting of Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome patients, who lack platelet polyP. The data identify polyP as a new class of mediator having fundamental roles in platelet-driven proinflammatory and procoagulant disorders.

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