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J Clin Invest. 1987 Dec;80(6):1624-30.

On the association of the platelet-specific alloantigen, Pena, with glycoprotein IIIa. Evidence for heterogeneity of glycoprotein IIIa.

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  • 1Blood Center of Southeastern Wisconsin, Milwaukee 53233.


Neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenic purpura associated with a new platelet-specific alloantigen Pena has been reported. We now provide direct evidence that the Pena determinant is associated with glycoprotein (GP) IIIa, but that it is distinct from epitopes that define the PlA system. By ELISA wherein monoclonal antibodies specific for GPIIb (Tab) and specific for GPIIIa (AP3) were used to capture and hold antigens from a platelet lysate prepared under conditions that generate free GPIIb and GPIIIa, anti-Pena reacted with GPIIIa held by AP3 but not with GPIIb held by Tab. In an alternative ELISA where purified GPIIIa from both PlA1-positive and PlA1-negative platelets were used individually as antigen, anti-Pena reacted with both allelic forms of GPIIIa. By radioimmuno-precipitation, anti-Pena precipitated a single surface-labeled membrane protein with electrophoretic characteristics in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels, under nonreduced or reduced conditions, identical to those of GPIIIa. By fluorocytometry, platelets from several donors, regardless of PlA phenotype, bound an amount of anti-Pena roughly equivalent to one-half that amount of anti-PlA1 bound by PlA1 homozygous (A1/A1) platelets and roughly equal to that amount of anti-PlA1 bound by PlA1 heterozygous (A1/A2) platelets. Using platelets from donors typed homozygous for PlA1 and Pena in a quantitative indirect binding assay, 14-24,000 molecules of anti-Pena and 41-51,000 molecules of anti-PlA1 were bound per platelet at saturation. Anti-Pena completely inhibited ADP-induced aggregation of Pena-positive platelets, regardless of PlA phenotype. These results indicate that the Pena determinant is associated with GPIIIa but distinct from PlA.

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