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Blood. 2011 Oct 13;118(15):4015-23. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-07-368514. Epub 2011 Aug 22.

Carcinoma mucins trigger reciprocal activation of platelets and neutrophils in a murine model of Trousseau syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.


Trousseau syndrome is classically defined as migratory, heparin-sensitive but warfarin-resistant microthrombi in patients with occult, mucinous adenocarcinomas. Injecting carcinoma mucins into mice generates platelet-rich microthrombi dependent on P- and L-selectin but not thrombin. Heparin prevents mucin binding to P- and L-selectin and mucin-induced microthrombi. This model of Trousseau syndrome explains resistance to warfarin, which inhibits fluid-phase coagulation but not selectins. Here we found that carcinoma mucins do not generate microthrombi in mice lacking P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1), the leukocyte ligand for P- and L-selectin. Furthermore, mucins did not activate platelets in blood from PSGL-1-deficient mice. Mucins induced microthrombi in radiation chimeras lacking endothelial P-selectin but not in chimeras lacking platelet P-selectin. Mucins caused leukocytes to release cathepsin G, but only if platelets were present. Mucins failed to generate microthrombi in cathepsin G-deficient mice. Mucins did not activate platelets in blood from mice lacking cathepsin G or protease-activated receptor-4 (PAR4), indicating that cathepsin G activates platelets through PAR4. Using knockout mice and blocking antibodies, we found that mucin-triggered cathepsin G release requires L-selectin and PSGL-1 on neutrophils, P-selectin on platelets, and Src family kinases in both cell types. Thus, carcinoma mucins promote thrombosis through adhesion-dependent, bidirectional signaling in neutrophils and platelets.

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