To investigate the association of the putative platelet fibrinogen receptor (glycoprotein IIb-III(a) with the cytoskeleton, 125I-surface labeled human platelets washed by gel-filtration were activated under conditions which allow selective assembly of the platelet cytoskeleton. The four conditions were activation with arachidonate or phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) with and without pretreatment with cytochalasin E. Activation with arachidonate generates a complete cytoskeletal core (pseudopodal and contractile elements) while PMA activation forms only an actin plus actin-binding protein pseudopodal core. Pretreatment with cytochalasin E leads to actomyosin contractile core formation if arachidonate activated, and essentially blocks cytoskeletal development if PMA activated. Cytoskeletal cores from arachidonate or PMA-activated platelets retained 26 (+/- 3%) of the total 125I-IIIa. Pretreatment with cytochalasin E followed by arachidonate or PMA activation reduced the 125I-IIIa retention to near control levels (unactivated platelets: 4 +/- 2%). The role of aggregation vs. receptor occupancy in the retention of IIb-IIIa was assessed by activation of platelets with arachidonate in the presence of fibrinogen fragment D (0.6-12 mg/ml). Aggregation was blocked by increasing concentrations of fragment D reagent while cytoskeletal assembly was not altered. The IIIa retention correlated with extent of aggregation with maximal retention corresponding to full aggregation. To determine if cytoskeletal development is necessary for the expression of the fibrinogen binding site, binding studies were performed with unlabeled platelets and 125I-fibrinogen. The mean number of binding sites and the mean dissociation constant were not significantly different among the four activation conditions. Although the development of a platelet cytoskeletal core is not required for the expression of the fibrinogen binding site, the retention of the glycoprotein IIb-IIIa complex is dependent on fibrinogen-supported aggregation as well as the formation of the pseudopodal cytoskeleton.
M E Wheeler, A C Cox, R C Carroll