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Haematologica. 2019 Jan 24. pii: haematol.2018.208819. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2018.208819. [Epub ahead of print]

A novel combinatorial technique for simultaneous quantification of oxygen radicals and aggregation reveals unexpected redox patterns in the activation of platelets by different physiopathological stimuli.

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Institute of Biomedical & Clinical Science, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK.
Dept. of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, Vascular Medicine Institute, University of Pittsburgh.
Institute of Biomedical & Clinical Science, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK;


The regulation of platelets by oxidants is critical for vascular health and may explain thrombotic complications in diseases such as diabetes and dementia, but remains poorly understood. Here, we describe a novel technique combining electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and turbidimetry, which has been utilised to monitor simultaneously platelet activation and oxygen radical generation. This technique has been used to investigate the redox-dependence of human and mouse platelets. Using selective peptide inhibitors of NOXs on human platelets and genetically modified mouse platelets (NOX1-/- or NOX2-/-), we discovered that:1) intracellular but not extracellular superoxide anion generated by NADPH oxidases (NOXs) is critical for platelet activation by collagen; 2) superoxide dismutation to hydrogen peroxide is required for thrombin-dependent activation; 3) NOX1 is the main source of oxygen radicals in response to collagen, while NOX2 is critical for activation by thrombin; 4) two platelet modulators, namely oxidised low density lipoproteins (oxLDL) and amyloid peptide β (Aβ), require activation of both NOX1 and NOX2 to pre-activate platelets. This study provides new insights on the redox dependence of platelet activation. It suggests the possibility of selectively inhibiting platelet agonists by targeting either NOX1 (for collagen) or NOX2 (for thrombin). Selective inhibition of either NOX1 or NOX2 impairs the potentiatory effect of tested platelet modulators (oxLDL and Aβ), but does not completely abolish platelet haemostatic function. This information offers new opportunities for the development of disease specific antiplatelet drugs with limited bleeding side effects by selectively targeting one NOX isoenzyme.


Disorders of Platelet Function; NOX; Platelets; oxidative stress; redox

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