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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 3;8(6):e64850. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064850. Print 2014.

Platelet activation determines angiopoietin-1 and VEGF levels in malaria: implications for their use as biomarkers.

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1
Department of Clinical Chemistry and Haematology, University Medical Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The angiogenic proteins angiopoietin (Ang)-1, Ang-2 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are regulators of endothelial inflammation and integrity. Since platelets store large amounts of Ang-1 and VEGF, measurement of circulation levels of these proteins is sensitive to platelet number, in vivo platelet activation and inadvertent platelet activation during blood processing. We studied plasma Ang-1, Ang-2 and VEGF levels in malaria patients, taking the necessary precautions to avoid ex vivo platelet activation, and related plasma levels to platelet count and the soluble platelet activation markers P-selectin and CXCL7.

METHODS:

Plasma levels of Ang-1, Ang-2, VEGF, P-selectin and CXCL7 were measured in CTAD plasma, minimizing ex vivo platelet activation, in 27 patients with febrile Plasmodium falciparum malaria at presentation and day 2 and 5 of treatment and in 25 healthy controls.

RESULTS:

Levels of Ang-1, Ang-2 and VEGF were higher at day 0 in malaria patients compared to healthy controls. Ang-2 levels, which is a marker of endothelial activation, decreased after start of antimalarial treatment. In contrast, Ang-1 and VEGF plasma levels increased and this corresponded with the increase in platelet number. Soluble P-selectin and CXCL7 levels followed the same trend as Ang-1 and VEGF levels. Plasma levels of these four proteins correlated strongly in malaria patients, but only moderately in controls.

CONCLUSION:

In contrast to previous studies, we found elevated plasma levels of Ang-1 and VEGF in patients with malaria resulting from in vivo platelet activation. Ang-1 release from platelets may be important to dampen the disturbing effects of Ang-2 on the endothelium. Evaluation of plasma levels of these angiogenic proteins requires close adherence to a stringent protocol to minimize ex vivo platelet activation.

PMID:
23755151
PMCID:
PMC3670845
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0064850
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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