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Research Article

Platelet surface glycoproteins. Studies on resting and activated platelets and platelet membrane microparticles in normal subjects, and observations in patients during adult respiratory distress syndrome and cardiac surgery.

J N George, E B Pickett, S Saucerman, R P McEver, T J Kunicki, N Kieffer and P J Newman

Published August 1986

The accurate definition of surface glycoprotein abnormalities in circulating platelets may provide better understanding of bleeding and thrombotic disorders. Platelet surface glycoproteins were measured on intact platelets in whole blood and platelet membrane microparticles were assayed in cell-free plasma using 125I-monoclonal antibodies. The glycoproteins (GP) studied were: GP Ib and GP IIb-IIIa, two of the major intrinsic plasma membrane glycoproteins; GMP-140, an alpha-granule membrane glycoprotein that becomes exposed on the platelet surface following secretion; and thrombospondin (TSP), an alpha-granule secreted glycoprotein that rebinds to the platelet surface. Thrombin-induced secretion in normal platelets caused the appearance of GMP-140 and TSP on the platelet surface, increased exposure of GP IIb-IIIa, and decreased antibody binding to GP Ib. Patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome had an increased concentration of GMP-140 and TSP on the surface of their platelets, demonstrating in vivo platelet secretion, but had no increase of platelet microparticles in their plasma. In contrast, patients after cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass demonstrated changes consistent with membrane fragmentation without secretion: a decreased platelet surface concentration of GP Ib and GP IIb with no increase of GMP-140 and TSP, and an increased plasma concentration of platelet membrane microparticles. These methods will help to define acquired abnormalities of platelet surface glycoproteins.


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