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Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 1990 Oct;1(4-5):543-6.

Ultrastructure of the interaction between human platelets and polymerizing fibrin within the first minutes of clot formation.

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  • 1Medizinische Biologie, Universit├Ąt des Saarlandes, Homburg/Saar, Germany.


In the presence of fibrinogen, thrombin induces the aggregation of platelets, the formation of fibrin, and the retraction of the fibrin network. Since these phenomena are initiated in the first minutes after stimulation, the platelet-fibrin interaction in the early stages of clot formation was investigated. To avoid the formation of high fibrin masses, which may obstruct the morphological evaluation, suspensions of washed platelets were diluted with homologous platelet-poor plasma and stimulated with thrombin. The incubation was stopped by fixation after different times and the clots were studied in series of ultra-thin sections. Between 30 and 60 s after stimulation, polymerizing fibrin was found to be situated predominantly within the contact spaces in aggregates of degranulating platelets. Assembling fibres were seen also in plasmalemmal invaginations located in the close vicinity of the constricting contractile cytoskeleton. Between 5 and 10 min after stimulation, fibres with increasing thickness were observed between the platelets and were internalized into deep-surface invaginations, which remained attached to the outer rim of the contractile cytoskeleton. Surface areas without connection to the cytoskeleton revealed no binding or internalization of fibres. Clots obtained after addition of cytochalasin (36 microM) showed no retraction. Fibrin was found to be bound on the whole surface of discoid and degranulated platelets but no internalization occurred. These results suggest that the association of the clustered fibrin(ogen)-receptor complexes to the contractile cytoskeleton and the formation of a constricting sphere leads to the retraction of the clot by internalization of the fibres.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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