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Blood. 1991 Jul 1;78(1):154-62.

Erythrocytes metabolically enhance collagen-induced platelet responsiveness via increased thromboxane production, adenosine diphosphate release, and recruitment.

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  • 1Hospital La Fe, Valencia, Spain.


Erythrocytes promoted platelet reactivity in a plasma medium, as demonstrated in an in vitro system that independently evaluated the biochemistry of platelet activation and recruitment. The prothrombotic erythrocyte effects were metabolically regulated, as evidenced by lack of activity of ATP-depleted or glutaraldehyde-fixed erythrocytes. They occurred in the absence of cell lysis as verified by lactate dehydrogenase assays, and had an absolute requirement for platelet activation. The presence of erythrocytes induced a twofold increase in platelet thromboxane B2 (TXB2) synthesis upon collagen stimulation, indicating that erythrocytes modulated platelet eicosanoid formation. Cell-free releasates from stimulated platelet-erythrocyte suspensions, which exhibited increased recruiting capacity, contained 6.9-fold more ADP and 4.9-fold more ATP than releasates from stimulated platelets alone. Following aspirin ingestion, TXB2 formation was blocked, but erythrocyte promotion of platelet reactivity persisted at those doses of collagen that reinduced platelet activation. Moreover, when platelet mixtures consisted of as little as 10% obtained before aspirin plus 90% obtained post-aspirin ingestion, significant erythrocyte enhancement of platelet reactivity occurred, even at low agonist concentrations. These erythrocyte effects would decrease the therapeutic potential of inhibition of platelet cyclooxygenase by aspirin. The erythrocyte-induced modulation of platelet biochemistry and function emphasizes the importance of cell-cell interactions in stimulus-response coupling.

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