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Bioelectrochemistry. 2012 Oct;87:89-95. doi: 10.1016/j.bioelechem.2011.08.004. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

Lysophosphatidic acid induced red blood cell aggregation in vitro.

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Institute for Molecular Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Saarland University, Homburg/Saar, Germany.


Under physiological conditions healthy RBCs do not adhere to each other. There are indications that RBCs display an intercellular adhesion under certain (pathophysiological) conditions. Therefore we investigated signaling steps starting with transmembrane calcium transport by means of calcium imaging. We found a lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) concentration dependent calcium influx with an EC(50) of 5 μM LPA. Downstream signaling was investigated by flow cytometry as well as by video-imaging comparing LPA induced with "pure" calcium mediated phosphatidylserine exposure and concluded the coexistence of two branches of the signaling pathway. Finally we performed force measurements with holographic optical tweezers (HOT): The intercellular adhesion of RBCs (aggregation) exceeds a force of 25 pN. These results support (i) earlier data of a RBC associated component in thrombotic events under certain pathophysiological conditions and (ii) the concept to use RBCs in studies of cellular adhesion behavior, especially in combination with HOT. The latter paves the way to use RBCs as model cells to investigate molecular regulation of cellular adhesion processes.

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