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Eur J Clin Invest. 1990 Apr;20(2):166-70.

Evidence for abnormal platelet glycoprotein expression in diabetes mellitus.

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Diabetes Research Institute, Heinrich Heine University, Duesseldorf, FRG.


In 41 diabetics (27 type I, 14 type II) and in 23 healthy controls the number of glycoprotein (GP) GPIB and GPIIB/IIIA molecules were determined on resting, peripheral platelets by means of flowcytometry after immunostaining with monoclonal antibodies which bind independently from the state of activation. The average number of both glycoproteins per platelet was significantly elevated (GPIB: 54,100 x 1.27 +/- 1 vs. 39,100 x 1.3 +/- 1 GPIIB/IIIA: 77,500 x 1.3 +/- 1 vs. 62,700 x 1.3 +/- 1, in diabetic patients. Platelet volume was significantly correlated with the number of GPIB molecules on normal and diabetic platelets (r (normal) = 0.52 +/- 0.07; r (diabetic) = 0.46 +/- 0.1). Additionally, von Willebrand factor-related antigen (vWF: AG) was increased to 129% x 1.3 +/- 1 in diabetics vs. 111% x 1.4 in controls. The increase of vWF: AG was significantly correlated with HbA1 (r = 0.38*) and seemed to depend on chronic hyperglycaemia. Since platelet glycoprotein receptor status is regulated by the bone-marrow megakaryocyto- thrombopoiesis, our observations support the hypothesis that platelet hyperactivity in the diabetic state may be due to primarily altered production of platelets with an increased number of functional glycoproteins. This may be paralleled by increased plasma levels of cytoadhesive proteins like vWF: AG, which interact with the studied glycoproteins and thereby potentiate the risk of disturbed microhaemorrheology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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