[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the role of platelets in stimulating mouse and human neutrophil activation and pulmonary injury in sickle cell disease (SCD).
Both platelet and neutrophil activation occur in SCD, but the interdependence of these events is unknown. Platelet activation and binding to leukocytes were measured in mice and patients with SCD and in controls. Relative to controls, blood obtained from mice or patients with SCD contained significantly elevated platelet-neutrophil aggregates (PNAs). Both platelets and neutrophils found in sickle PNAs were activated. Multispectral imaging (ImageStream) and conventional flow cytometry revealed a subpopulation of activated neutrophils with multiple adhered platelets that expressed significantly more CD11b and exhibited greater oxidative activity than single neutrophils. On average, wild-type and sickle PNAs contained 1.1 and 2.6 platelets per neutrophil, respectively. Hypoxia/reoxygenation induced a further increase in PNAs in mice with SCD and additional activation of both platelets and neutrophils. The pretreatment of mice with SCD with clopidogrel or P-selectin antibody reduced the formation of PNAs and neutrophil activation and decreased lung vascular permeability.
Our findings suggest that platelet binding activates neutrophils and contributes to a chronic inflammatory state and pulmonary dysfunction in SCD. The inhibition of platelet activation may be useful to decrease tissue injury in SCD, particularly during the early stages of vaso-occlusive crises.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Platelets in vivo react under low-shear venous-flow as well as high-shear arterial-flow conditions. Because most studies were carried out at low shear stresses, platelet granule secretion at high shear has not been examined thoroughly. We investigated the secretion of all three types of platelet granules and thromboxane A(2) formation at high shear after stimulation with ADP or thrombin.
Washed human platelets were reacted rapidly (<5 s) in a quenched-flow system simulating high-shear arterial-flow conditions (30 dyn/cm(2)). For comparison, we employed a low-shear stirring system (1-5 dyn/cm(2)). Serotonin release and membrane exposure of P-selectin (alpha), CD63 (dense), and CD107a (lysosomes) were used to assess granule secretion. Aggregation was evaluated by resistive-particle counting of the remaining platelet singlets.
ADP and thrombin induced similar strong levels of aggregation ( approximately 70%) at high shear by 5 s. Thrombin also caused release of about 40% of all alpha and dense granules within 5 s. However, by 5 s at high shear, ADP failed to induce significant granule secretion or thromboxane A(2) formation (<5%, p>0.05). By 10 min at low shear, ADP caused secretion and thromboxane A(2) formation only at non-physiological, micromolar extracellular Ca(2+) concentrations. These results emphasize the ability of thrombin to initiate multiple aspects of platelet function within seconds, while ADP was only able to induce rapid aggregation.
Thrombosis Research 01/2007; 120(6):885-92. DOI:10.1016/j.thromres.2007.01.007 · 2.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Shiga toxins (Stxs) produced by Shigella dysenteriae type 1 and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli are the most common cause of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). It is well established that vascular endothelial cells, mainly those located in the renal microvasculature, are targets for Stxs. The aim of the present research was to evaluate whether E. coli-derived Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2) incubated with human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) induces release of chemokines and other factors that might stimulate platelet function. HMEC-1 were exposed for 24 h in vitro to Stx2, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), or the Stx2-LPS combination, and chemokine production was assessed by immunoassay. More interleukin-8 was released than stromal cell-derived factor 1alpha (SDF-1alpha) or SDF-1beta and RANTES. The Stx2-LPS combination potentiated chemokine release, but Stx2 alone caused more release of SDF-1alpha at 24 h than LPS or Stx2-LPS did. In the presence of low ADP levels, HMEC-1 supernatants activated platelet function assessed by classical aggregometry, single-particle counting, granule secretion, P-selectin exposure, and the formation of platelet-monocyte aggregates. Supernatants from HMEC-1 exposed only to Stx2 exhibited enhanced exposure of platelet P-selectin and platelet-THP-1 cell interactions. Blockade of platelet cyclooxygenase by indomethacin prevented functional activation. The chemokine RANTES enhanced platelet aggregation induced by SDF-1alpha, macrophage-derived chemokine, or thymus and activation-regulated chemokine in the presence of very low ADP levels. These data support the hypothesis that microvascular endothelial cells exposed to E. coli O157:H7-derived Stx2 and LPS release chemokines and other factors, which when combined with low levels of primary agonists, such as ADP, cause platelet activation and promote the renal thrombosis associated with HUS.
Infection and Immunity 01/2006; 73(12):8306-16. DOI:10.1128/IAI.73.12.8306-8316.2005 · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Platelet and monocyte activation may contribute to hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia and renal failure associated with the hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) caused by Escherichia coli O157:H7. Since Shiga toxins (Stxs) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from this bacterium are implicated in the pathogenesis of HUS, we examined whether stimulation of THP-1 human monocytic cells by Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2) and LPS can lead to the activation of platelet function. We now show that Stx2 causedTHP-1 cells to release the chemokines IL-8, MDC, and RANTES and that the presence of LPS further stimulated this release. IL-8 was produced in greatest amount and was an effective co-agonist for inducing platelet aggregation. Primary human monocytes also released large amounts of IL-8 in response to LPS and Stx2. Factors released byTHP-1 cells exposed to Stx2 and LPS activated platelet function as evidenced by increased aggregation, serotonin secretion, P-selectin exposure and by the formation of stable platelet-monocyte aggregates. Our data therefore show that monocytes exposed to E.coli-derived Stx2 and LPS release factors which activate platelet function.
Thrombosis and Haemostasis 12/2005; 94(5):1019-27. DOI:10.1160/TH05-02-0115 · 4.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The thrombin-induced platelet shape change was blocked by nitric oxide (NO), as revealed by scanning electron microscopy, light transmission, and resistive-particle volume determination. The inhibitory effect of NO was accompanied by an increase in levels of both cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (CAMP) and phosphorylation of the vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP). However, the inhibition of the shape change was only mimicked by cAMP analogs (Sp-5,6-DCI-cBIMPS, 8-AHA-cAMP, and 8-CPT-cAMP) and not by cGMP analogs (8-Br-PET-cGMP, 8-Br-cGMP, and 8-pCPT-cGMP). The effect of NO on the thrombin-induced shape change was prevented by the protein kinase A (PKA) antagonists Rp-8-Br-cAMPS and Rp-cAMPS. The protein kinase G (PKG) antagonist Rp-8-CPT-cGMPS strongly inhibited PKG-mediated 46-kDa VASP Ser239 phosphorylation, but did not inhibit the thrombin-induced shape change or the PKA-mediated VASP Ser157 phosphorylation. Whereas an inhibitor of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) 3A (milrinone) mimicked the effect of NO, inhibitors of PDE2 (erythro-9-(2-hydroxy-3-nonyl)adenine) and PDE5 (dipyridamole) were poorly effective. We concluded that (1) NO was a potent and reversible inhibitor of the platelet shape change, (2) the shape change was reversible, (3) the inhibitory effect of NO was mediated through activation of PKA, (4) the onset of the NO effect coincided with VASP Ser157 phosphorylation, and (5) removal of NO and platelet shape change coincided with VASP Ser157 dephosphorylation. These findings are compatible with elevation of cGMP by NO in a compartment close to PDE3A, PKA, and VASP, leading to a local increase of cAMP able to block thrombin-induced shape change. (C) 2004 by The American Society of Hematology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The in vitro oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) by hypochlorous acid produces a modified form (HOCl-LDL) capable of stimulating platelet function. We now report that HOCl-LDL is highly effective at inducing platelet function, causing stable aggregation and alpha-granule secretion. Such stimulation depended on the presence of low levels of primary agonists such as adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and thrombin, or others like epinephrine (EPI) and macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC, CCL22). Agonist levels, which by themselves induced little or reversible aggregation, caused strong stable aggregation when combined with low levels of HOCl-LDL. Platelet activation by HOCl-LDL and ADP (1 microM) caused P-selectin (CD62P) exposure, without serotonin or adenosine triphosphate (ATP) secretion. Intracellular calcium levels rose slowly (from 100 to 200 nM) in response to HOCl-LDL alone and rapidly when combined with ADP to about 300 nM. p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) became phosphorylated in response to HOCl-LDL alone. This phosphorylation was not blocked by the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide, which reduced the extent of aggregation and calcium increase. However, the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 blocked platelet aggregation and phosphorylation of p38 MAPK. These findings suggest that HOCl-LDL exposed during atherosclerotic plaque rupture, coupled with low levels of primary agonists, can rapidly induce extensive and stable thrombus formation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is associated with acute renal failure in children and can be caused by Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli. Thrombocytopenia and formation of renal thrombi are characteristic of HUS, suggesting that platelet activation is involved in its pathogenesis. However, whether Shiga toxin directly activates platelets is controversial. The present study evaluates if potential platelet sensitization during isolation by different procedures influences platelet interaction with Shiga toxin. Platelets isolated from sodium citrate anticoagulated blood were exposed during washing to EDTA and higher g forces than platelets prepared from acid-citrate-dextrose (ACD) plasma. Platelet binding of Stx was significantly higher in EDTA-washed preparations relative to ACD-derived platelets. Binding of Stx was also increased with ACD-derived platelets when activated with thrombin (1 U mL-1) and exposure of the Gb3 Stx receptor was detected only on platelets subjected to EDTA, higher g forces or thrombin. EDTA-exposed platelets lost their normal discoid shape and were larger. P-selectin (CD62P) exposure was significantly increased in EDTA-washed preparations relative to ACD-derived platelets, suggesting platelet activation. Taken together, these results suggest that direct binding of Stx occurs only on 'activated' platelets rather than on resting platelets. The ability of Stx to interact with previously activated platelets may be an important element in understanding the pathogenesis of HUS.
Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 04/2004; 2(3):499-506. DOI:10.1111/j.1538-7933.2004.00638.x · 5.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The primary step in hemostasis after vascular injury is generally considered to be the adherence of circulating platelets to collagen exposed in the subendothelial connective tissues (1,2). Such platelet adhesion is essential to limit bleeding and maintain blood vessel integrity. This process must occur extremely rapidly and involves a cascade of events including the initial platelet adhesion to the collagen surface and stabilization of the platelet-collagen bond, followed by spreading, activation of the glycoprotein (GP) IIb-IIIa fibrinogen receptor, and release of platelet granule contents. Platelet-platelet interactions then occur by platelet recruitment from the plasma, leading to the buildup of thrombi on the initial monolayer of adherent platelets.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Platelet stimulation by collagen and collagen-related peptides (CRPs) is associated with activation of protein tyrosine kinases. In the present study, we investigated the role of Src family tyrosine kinases in the initial adhesion events of human platelets to collagen and cross-linked CRP.
Under arterial flow conditions, a glycoprotein VI-specific substrate, cross-linked CRP, caused rapid (<2 second) platelet retention and protein tyrosine phosphorylation that were markedly decreased by the Src family kinase inhibitor pyrozolopyrimidine (PP2) or by aggregation inhibitor GRGDSP. CRP-induced platelet retention was transient, and 90% of single platelets or aggregates detached within seconds. PP2, although having no effect on RGD peptide-binding to CRP, completely blocked aggregation and tyrosine phosphorylation of Syk and phospholipase Cgamma2 (PLCgamma2). In contrast, PP2 weakly (<30%) suppressed firm adhesion to collagen mediated primarily by the alpha2beta1 integrin. Although PP2 prevented activation of Syk and PLCgamma2 in collagen-adherent platelets, tyrosine phosphorylation of several unidentified protein bands persisted, as did autophosphorylation of pp125FAK.
These findings indicate that activation of Src-tyrosine kinases Syk and PLCgamma2 is not required for the initial stable attachment of human platelets to collagen and for FAK autophosphorylation. However, Src-tyrosine kinases are critical for glycoprotein VI-mediated signaling leading to platelet aggregation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Blood platelets play critical roles in hemostasis, providing rapid essential protection against bleeding and catalyzing the important slower formation of stable blood clots via the coagulation cascade. They are also involved in protection from infection by phagocytosis of pathogens and by secreting chemokines that attract leukocytes. Platelet function usually is activated by primary agonists such as adenosine diphosphate (ADP), thrombin, and collagen, whereas secondary agonists like adrenalin do not induce aggregation on their own but become highly effective in the presence of low levels of primary agonists. Current research has revealed that chemokines represent an important additional class of agonists capable of causing significant activation of platelet function. Early work on platelet alpha-granule proteins suggested that platelet factor 4, now known as CXCL4, modulated aggregation and secretion induced by low agonist levels. Subsequent reports revealed the presence in platelets of messenger RNA for several additional chemokines and chemokine receptors. Three chemokines in particular, CXCL12 (SDF-1), CCL17 (TARC), and CCL22 (MDC), recently have been shown to be strong and rapid activators of platelet aggregation and adhesion after their binding to platelet CXCR4 or CCR4, when acting in combination with low levels of primary agonists. CXCL12 can be secreted by endothelial cells and is present in atherosclerotic plaques, whereas CCL17 and CCL22 are secreted by monocytes and macrophages. Platelet activation leads to the release of alpha-granule chemokines, including CCL3 (MIP-1alpha), CCL5 (RANTES), CCL7 (MCP-3), CCL17, CXCL1 (growth-regulated oncogene-alpha), CXCL5 (ENA-78), and CXCL8 (IL-8), which attract leukocytes and further activate other platelets. These findings help to provide a direct linkage between hemostasis, infection, and inflammation and the development of atherosclerosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heat-shock protein 90 (hsp90) is a chaperone important for the function of many signaling proteins. In this study, we show that hsp90 exists in resting platelets as a complex with the heat-shock cognate protein 70 (hsc70), the alpha- and beta-subunits of protein kinase CK2, and other unidentified phosphoproteins. Platelet activation by thrombin caused the rapid dissociation of hsc70 and CK2alpha from the hsp90 complex, the ex vivo phosphorylation of many protein components, and the stimulation of protein kinase(s) associated with the hsp90 complex. These results suggest that the hsp90 complex, with its associated protein kinase(s), which may include CK2, and their substrates, is involved in thrombin-induced platelet activation.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2002; 297(1):129-33. DOI:10.1016/S0006-291X(02)02138-1 · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some local anesthetics (LA), in concentrations present in blood during IV or epidural infusion, inhibit thrombus formation in the postoperative period. Studies on thromboxane A2 (TXA2) signaling in a recombinant model suggest that interference with TXA2-induced platelet aggregation may explain, in part, the antithrombotic actions of epidural analgesia and IV LA infusion. In this study we investigated the effects of clinically used LAs (lidocaine, ropivacaine, and bupivacaine) on TXA2-induced early platelet aggregation (1-5 s) by using quenched-flow and optical aggregometry. Our findings demonstrate that the LAs tested seem to have only a limited ability to inhibit TXA2-induced platelet aggregation assessed at early times (1-5 s). Therefore, the clinical effects of LAs on thrombi formation are unlikely to be explained by this manner alone. At large LA concentrations, moderate effects were obtained. Prolonged incubation with LA did not significantly increase effectiveness, and the lack of an effect could not be explained by generation of secondary mediators. The results were independent of the anesthetic studied. Local anesthetic effects on TXA2-induced early platelet aggregation (1-5 s) are unlikely to play a major role in the clinically observed antithrombotic effects of local anesthetics. IMPLICATIONS: Local anesthetic effects on thromboxane A2-induced early platelet aggregation (1-5 s) are unlikely to play a major role in the clinically observed antithrombotic effects of local anesthetics. Thus, other potential targets need to be explored.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Platelet activation is normally induced by primary agonists such as adenosine diphosphate (ADP), thrombin, and collagen, whereas other agonists, such as epinephrine, can play important accessory roles. It is now reported that the macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC), thymus activation-regulated chemokine (TARC), and stromal cell-derived factor one (SDF-1) are highly effective activators of platelet function under a variety of conditions, stimulating platelet shape change, aggregation, and adhesion to collagen or fibrinogen. Chemokine-mediated platelet activation was rapid and maximal (less than 5 seconds) under arterial flow conditions and depended strongly on the presence of low levels of primary agonists such as ADP or thrombin. Concentrations of ADP (0.05-0.25 microM) or thrombin (0.005-0.02 U/mL) that induced minimal aggregation caused major aggregation acting in combination with the chemokines. The ability of apyrase to block chemokine-dependent aggregation or adhesion was consistent with an important role for ADP. Chemokine-stimulated aggregation was also insensitive to indomethacin, suggesting that the activation of cyclo-oxygenase is not involved. TARC, MDC, and SDF-1 increased intracellular calcium concentrations [Ca(2+)](i) when combined with low levels of ADP. The MDC and TARC receptor CCR4 was expressed on platelets, and an anti-CCR4 antibody blocked aggregation induced by TARC or MDC. Treatment of platelets with SDF-1 and MDC rapidly exposed P-selectin (CD62P) on the cell surface but did not induce the secretion of serotonin. These findings suggest that the chemokines MDC, TARC, and SDF-1, which may be produced during inflammatory responses, coupled with low levels of ADP or thrombin, can serve as strong stimuli for activating platelet function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability of the chemokines SDF-1, MDC and TARC to induce platelet aggregation depends strongly on low levels of ADP. The ADP receptors involved have now been characterized using the P2Y(1) and P2T(AC) receptor antagonists, A2P5P and AR-C69931MX. Stimulation of aggregation by the chemokines at 10 s was not blocked by AR-C69931MX, but was strongly inhibited by A2P5P. Pertussis toxin abolished the chemokine-stimulated aggregation. We conclude that the P2Y(1) ADP receptor plays a critical role in the initial phases of SDF-1-, MDC- and TARC-induced platelet aggregation, which involve a pertussis toxin-sensitive G protein.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The hemolytic uremic syndrome involves the presence of Shiga toxin producing strains of Escherichia coli and is associated with thrombocytopenia, platelet activation, and microthrombi formation. We have, therefore, investigated the ability of Shiga toxin isotypes 1 and 2 to cause or enhance platelet aggregation under resting or arterial-flow conditions using a sensitive quenched-flow system and single-particle counting. Incubation of platelets with Shiga toxins 1 or 2 at 10(-10) M or 10(-9) M for 0.5-2 hours failed to induce platelet aggregation under static or physiological flow conditions, either by themselves or in the presence of ADP or thrombin. Thus, these Shiga toxins do not appear to be able to influence platelet function directly, and their ability to cause platelet thrombi in vivo must result from indirect mechanisms.
Thrombosis Research 07/2000; 98(5):403-10. DOI:10.1016/S0049-3848(00)00191-2 · 2.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heat-shock proteins are found in organisms as diverse as slime moulds, bacteria, plants and higher eukarycotes. They play fundamental roles in cell function, ranging from protein folding to transmembrane protein movement, to serving as scaffolds or frameworks for the assembly of enzyme signalling complexes such as the steroid receptors. Intracellular concentrations may be high, in the range of structural proteins such as actin, with which they often interact. Therefore, it is not surprising that heat-shock proteins are present in blood platelets, and recent studies point to important roles in platelet function. The small heat-shock protein, hsp27, becomes phosphorylated following cell stimulation with thrombin and associates with the actin-rich cytoskeleton. Phosphorylation results from activation of a protein kinase cascade involving the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), the MAPKAP-K2 kinase, as well as PRAK, or p38-regulated protein kinase. Intriguingly, platelet hsp27 can associate with platelet factor XIII, suggesting a role for regulation of transglutaminase activity in stabilizing fibrin-platelet clots. The higher molecular-weight heat-shock proteins hsc70 and hsp90 are also present in platelets, being found in a large phosphorylated complex that contains the catalytic and myosin-targeting subunits of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1). Platelet adhesion to collagen via the alpha 2 beta 1 integrin causes the rapid dissociation of this complex and dephosphorylation of components. These results suggest that hsc70 and hsp90 can serve as signalling scaffolds, helping regulate function, including platelet adhesion and spreading via modulation of protein phosphatase activity. Hsp27, on the other hand, may be more involved in controlling actin polymerization during the platelet shape change and subsequent aggregation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Geldanamycin (GA), a benzoquinoid ansamycin antibiotic, has been used as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor and an anti-tumour agent and is known to bind to heat-shock protein 90. In the present study on human platelets we have found that GA inhibited platelet aggregation induced by ADP, thrombin and the thrombin-receptor-activating peptide and caused platelet plasma-membrane damage, detected by leakage of adenine nucleotides as well as serotonin. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed that platelet exposure to GA led to the formation of holes or fenestrations in the platelet plasma membrane, confirming GA's ability to initiate membrane damage. In addition, GA itself caused both the dephosphorylation and phosphorylation of proteins in resting platelets and prevented agonist-induced phosphorylation of pleckstrin, the 20-kDa myosin light chain and other proteins. Another ansamycin, herbimycin A, also inhibited platelet aggregation, but caused minimal membrane permeabilization, as detected by (3)H release from platelets labelled previously with [(3)H]adenine, and much less membrane damage, revealed by SEM. Overall, GA is able to disrupt membrane structure and inhibit platelet aggregation, an ability which may be linked to alterations in the activity of protein kinases and phosphatases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have investigated the role of protein kinase C (PKC) in the initial events of alpha(2)beta(1)-integrin-mediated platelet adhesion to collagen under flow conditions. Although adhesion caused activation of PKC, as evidenced by pleckstrin phosphorylation, the PKC inhibitors GF 109203X and Gö 6976 had no effect on adhesion, even though they prevented pleckstrin phosphorylation. The initial kinetics and extent of platelet adhesion to collagen (<5 seconds) and tyrosine phosphorylation of p125(FAK) and p72(syk) were not influenced by the PKC inhibitors, whereas adhesion to polylysine was prevented. These results indicate that adhesion to collagen and polylysine involve different mechanisms and requirements for PKC activation. Pretreatment with GF 109203X destabilized collagen-adherent platelets, accelerating their detachment, which was associated with tyrosine dephosphorylation of p125(FAK). Thus, although PKC activation was not required for rapid platelet adhesion to collagen, it appears to play an important role in stabilizing the attachment of adherent platelets to collagen. We also examined the effect of PKC activation by the phorbol ester phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) on platelet adhesion to collagen. PMA at 100 nmol/L strongly potentiated adhesion and tyrosine phosphorylation of p125(FAK) and p72(syk) and activated beta(1)-integrins, as determined by increased exposure of the 15/7 epitope. The PMA-stimulated adhesion was partially blocked by an anti-alpha(2)beta(1) antibody, was completely inhibited by GF 109203X, and was not correlated with the extent of pleckstrin phosphorylation. Therefore, strong PKC activation may lead to inside-out signaling, enhancing the role of beta(1)-integrins in adhesion. Pleckstrin phosphorylation does not appear to be involved in the initial phase of basic or PMA-stimulated adhesion but may help stabilize the adherent platelets.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ceramide is considered to be an important signaling molecule in cellular processes such as cell growth, secretion, differentiation, and apoptosis. This implies that the molecule is able to move between cellular membranes. However, the ability of the molecule to undergo such exchange has been largely ignored despite the profound impact that this ability would have on its mechanism of action in signal-transduction cascades. With this in mind, the ability of a long-chain, radioactive ceramide, (14)C-C(16)-ceramide, to exchange between populations of lipid vesicles was evaluated. The rate of exchange of (14)C-C(16)-ceramide between lipid vesicles at lipid concentrations commonly found in cells (10-110 mM) was on the order of days (t(1/2) of 45-109 h). Simultaneous observations revealed negligible exchange of (3)H-cholesteryl oleate, which was included as a nontransferable marker to control for artifacts such as vesicle fusion and aggregation. In addition, all of the ceramide was exchangeable, and the exchange followed monoexponential kinetics, indicating that the ceramide underwent transbilayer movement at a rate faster than or equal to its rate of intervesicle exchange. Two conclusions can be drawn from these observations: (i) the spontaneous transfer of ceramide between cellular membranes is too slow to play a role in rapid, inter-membrane signaling phenomena and can only be a factor in cell functions that take place over days; and (ii) without the aid of an exchange protein, ceramide can only interact with target molecules that are located at the membrane where the ceramide is formed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thrombin activation of human platelets causes release of sphingosine-1-phosphate from platelets and an increase in sphingosine levels. Sphingosine-1-phosphate is also known to potentiate platelet aggregation. Thus, these sphingolipids may serve as second messengers during platelet activation making it possible that another sphingolipid, ceramide, might play a role in platelet function. Platelets are known to contain sphingomyelinase activity and hydrolysis of sphingomyelin by this enzyme yields phosphocholine and ceramide. Since ceramide is thought to exert its effects through regulation of protein kinases and phosphatases, both of which are involved in platelet function, it is possible that ceramide produced during platelet activation could be involved in regulating signal transduction events. To investigate this possibility, potential changes in levels of ceramide and sphingomyelin in resting and thrombin-activated platelets have been evaluated. Thin-layer chromatographic analysis of the total mass or of radiolabeled (14C-palmitate or 14C-serine) pools of ceramide and sphingomyelin did not reveal any significant changes in the concentrations of either of these molecules during platelet activation. In addition, activation of platelets labeled with [14C-choline]-sphingomyelin did not lead to production of 14C-phosphocholine, suggesting that platelet activation did not cause sphingomyelinase to hydrolyze the [14C-choline]-sphingomyelin. Taken together, our results suggest that ceramide does not serve as a second messenger during platelet aggregation.
Thrombosis Research 05/1999; 94(1):13-23. DOI:10.1016/S0049-3848(98)00186-8 · 2.45 Impact Factor