Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Haematol. 2012 Dec;159(5):565-71. doi: 10.1111/bjh.12066. Epub 2012 Oct 1.

Activation of caspases-9, -3 and -8 in human platelets triggered by BH3-only mimetic ABT-737 and calcium ionophore A23187: caspase-8 is activated via bypass of the death receptors.

Author information

Division of Transfusion Medicine, Department of Laboratory Medicine, The Keenan Research Centre in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Platelet apoptosis and activation have been studied in human platelets treated with BH3-only mimetic ABT-737 and calcium ionophore A23187, agents triggering apoptosis through the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway. Platelet apoptosis was determined as activation of crucial apoptosis-associated caspases, initiator caspase-9 of intrinsic apoptosis pathway, executioner caspase-3 and initiator caspase-8 of extrinsic death receptor pathway, and platelet activation was detected by P-selectin (CD62) exposure on the platelet surface. We found that ABT-737 predominantly induced activation of caspases-9, -3 and -8 rather than CD62 exposure, whereas A23187 induces both caspases activation and CD62 exposure. Caspase-8 activation was stimulated independently of the extrinsic apoptosis pathway via mitochondrial membrane permeabilization and depolarization. These data suggest that (i) caspase-8 activation is triggered in ABT-737- and A23187-treated anucleate platelets through the mitochondria-initiated caspase activation cascade bypassing the death receptors, and (ii) ABT-737-treated platelets are a useful experimental tool for discerning the role of platelet apoptosis in platelet function and survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center