Pulmonary platelet thrombi and vascular pathology in acute chest syndrome in patients with sickle cell disease.
ABSTRACT: A growing body of evidence suggests a role for platelets in sickle cell disease (SCD). Despite the proinflammatory, occlusive nature of platelets, a role for platelets in acute chest syndrome (ACS), however, remains understudied. To provide evidence and potentially describe contributory factors for a putative link between ACS and platelets, we performed an autopsy study of 20 SCD cases-10 of whom died from ACS and 10 whose deaths were not ACS-related. Pulmonary histopathology and case history were collected. We discovered that disseminated pulmonary platelet thrombi were present in 3 out of 10 of cases with ACS, but none of the matched cases without ACS. Those cases with detected thrombi were associated with significant deposition of endothelial vWF and detection of large vWF aggregates adhered to endothelium. Potential clinical risk factors were younger age and higher platelet count at presentation. However, we also noted a sharp and significant decline in platelet count prior to death in each case with platelet thrombi in the lungs. In this study, neither hydroxyurea use nor perimortem transfusion was associated with platelet thrombi. Surprisingly, in all cases, there was profound pulmonary artery remodeling with both thrombotic and proliferative pulmonary plexiform lesions. The severity of remodeling was not associated with a severe history of ACS, or hydroxyurea use, but was inversely correlated with age. We thus provide evidence of undocumented presence of platelet thrombi in cases of fatal ACS and describe clinical correlates. We also provide novel correlates of pulmonary remodeling in SCD.
Project description:GPIbalpha binding to von Willebrand factor (VWF) exposed at a site of vascular injury is thought to be the first step in the formation of a hemostatic plug. However, our previous studies in VWF-deficient mice demonstrated delayed but not absent arterial thrombus formation, suggesting that, under these conditions, GPIbalpha may bind other ligands or that a receptor other than GPIbalpha can mediate platelet adhesion. Here, we studied thrombus formation in transgenic mice expressing GPIbalpha in which the extracellular domain was replaced by that of the human IL-4 receptor (IL4Ralpha/GPIbalpha-tg mice). Platelet adhesion to ferric chloride-treated mesenteric arterioles in IL4Ralpha/GPIbalpha-tg mice was virtually absent in contrast to avid adhesion in WT mice. As a consequence, arterial thrombus formation was inhibited completely in the mutant mice. Our studies further show that, when infused into WT recipient mice, IL4Ralpha/GPIbalpha-tg platelets or WT platelets lacking the 45-kDa N-terminal domain of GPIbalpha failed to incorporate into growing arterial thrombi, even if the platelets were activated before infusion. Surprisingly, platelets lacking beta3 integrins, which are unable to form thrombi on their own, incorporated efficiently into WT thrombi. Our studies provide in vivo evidence that GPIbalpha absolutely is required for recruitment of platelets to both exposed subendothelium and thrombi under arterial flow conditions. Thus, GPIbalpha contributes to arterial thrombosis by important adhesion mechanisms independent of the binding to VWF.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Microvascular thrombosis is the hallmark pathology of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), a rare life-threatening disease. Neurological dysfunction is present in over 90% of patients with TTP, and TTP can cause long-lasting neurological damage or death. However, the pathophysiology of microvascular thrombosis in the brain is not well studied to date. Here, we investigate the formation and resolution of thrombosis in pial microvessels. Approach and Results: Using a cranial intravital microscopy in well-established mouse models of congenital TTP induced by infusion of recombinant VWF (von Willebrand factor), we found that soluble VWF, at high concentration, adheres to the endothelium of the vessel wall, self-associates, and initiates platelet adhesion resulting in the formation of pial microvascular thrombosis in ADAMTS13-/- (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with a thrombospondin type 1 motif, member 13) mice. Importantly, VWF-mediated pial microvascular thrombosis occurred without vascular injury to the brain, and thrombi consisted of resting platelets adhered onto ultra-large VWF without fibrin in the brain in rVWF (recombinant VWF) challenged ADAMTS13-/- mice. Prophylactic treatment with recombinant ADAMTS13 (BAX930) effectively prevented the onset of the VWF-mediated microvascular thrombosis and therapeutic treatment with BAX930 acutely resolved the preexisting or growing thrombi in the brain of ADAMTS13-/- mice after rVWF challenge. The absence of platelet activation and fibrin formation within VWF-mediated thrombi and efficacy of BAX930 was confirmed with an endothelial-driven VWF-mediated microvascular thrombosis model in mice. CONCLUSIONS:Our results provide important insight into the initiation and development of microvascular thrombi in mouse models that mimics TTP and indicate that rADAMTS13 could be an effective interventional therapy for microvascular thrombosis, the hallmark pathology in TTP.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To determine the role of platelets in stimulating mouse and human neutrophil activation and pulmonary injury in sickle cell disease (SCD). METHODS AND RESULTS: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. CONCLUSIONS: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.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Platelet cross-linking during arterial thrombosis involves von Willebrand Factor (VWF) multimers. Therefore, proteolysis of VWF appears promising to disaggregate platelet-rich thrombi and restore vessel patency in acute thrombotic disorders such as ischemic stroke, acute coronary syndrome, or acute limb ischemia. N-Acetylcysteine (NAC, a clinically approved mucolytic drug) can reduce intrachain disulfide bonds in large polymeric proteins. In the present study, we postulated that NAC might cleave the VWF multimers inside occlusive thrombi, thereby leading to their dissolution and arterial recanalization. METHODS:Experimental models of thrombotic stroke induced by either intra-arterial thrombin injection or ferric chloride application followed by measurement of cerebral blood flow using a combination of laser Doppler flowmetry and MRI were performed to uncover the effects of NAC on arterial thrombi. To investigate the effect of NAC on larger vessels, we also performed ferric chloride-induced carotid artery thrombosis. In vitro experiments were performed to study the molecular bases of NAC thrombolytic effect, including platelet aggregometry, platelet-rich thrombi lysis assays, thromboelastography (ROTEM), and high-shear VWF string formation using microfluidic devices. We also investigated the putative prohemorrhagic effect of NAC in a mouse model of intracranial hemorrhage induced by in situ collagenase type VII injection. RESULTS:We demonstrated that intravenous NAC administration promotes lysis of arterial thrombi that are resistant to conventional approaches such as recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator, direct thrombin inhibitors, and antiplatelet treatments. Through in vitro and in vivo experiments, we provide evidence that the molecular target underlying the thrombolytic effects of NAC is principally the VWF that cross-link platelets in arterial thrombi. Coadministration of NAC and a nonpeptidic GpIIb/IIIa inhibitor further improved its thrombolytic efficacy, essentially by accelerating thrombus dissolution and preventing rethrombosis. Thus, in a new large-vessel thromboembolic stroke model in mice, this cotreatment significantly improved ischemic lesion size and neurological outcome. It is important to note that NAC did not worsen hemorrhagic stroke outcome, suggesting that it exerts thrombolytic effects without significantly impairing normal hemostasis. CONCLUSIONS:We provide evidence that NAC is an effective and safe alternative to currently available antithrombotic agents to restore vessel patency after arterial occlusion.
Project description:Ischemic stroke is caused by a thromboembolic occlusion of cerebral arteries. Treatment is focused on fast and efficient removal of the occluding thrombus, either via intravenous thrombolysis or via endovascular thrombectomy. Recanalization, however, is not always successful and factors contributing to failure are not completely understood. Although the occluding thrombus is the primary target of acute treatment, little is known about its internal organization and composition. The aim of this study, therefore, was to better understand the internal organization of ischemic stroke thrombi on a molecular and cellular level. A total of 188 thrombi were collected from endovascularly treated ischemic stroke patients and analyzed histologically for fibrin, red blood cells (RBC), von Willebrand factor (vWF), platelets, leukocytes and DNA, using bright field and fluorescence microscopy. Our results show that stroke thrombi are composed of two main types of areas: RBC-rich areas and platelet-rich areas. RBC-rich areas have limited complexity as they consist of RBC that are entangled in a meshwork of thin fibrin. In contrast, platelet-rich areas are characterized by dense fibrin structures aligned with vWF and abundant amounts of leukocytes and DNA that accumulate around and in these platelet-rich areas. These findings are important to better understand why platelet-rich thrombi are resistant to thrombolysis and difficult to retrieve via thrombectomy, and can guide further improvements of acute ischemic stroke therapy.
Project description:The metalloprotease ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin-like and metalloprotease with thrombospondin type I repeats 13) cleaves highly adhesive large von Willebrand factor (VWF) multimers after their release from the endothelium. ADAMTS13 deficiency is linked to a life-threatening disorder, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), characterized by platelet-rich thrombi in the microvasculature. Here, we show spontaneous thrombus formation in activated microvenules of Adamts13-/- mice by intravital microscopy. Strikingly, we found that ADAMTS13 down-regulates both platelet adhesion to exposed subendothelium and thrombus formation in injured arterioles. An inhibitory antibody to ADAMTS13 infused in wild-type mice prolonged adhesion of platelets to endothelium and induced thrombi formation with embolization in the activated microvenules. Absence of ADAMTS13 did not promote thrombi formation in alphaIIbbeta3 integrin-inhibited blood. Recombinant ADAMTS13 reduced platelet adhesion and aggregation in histamine-activated venules and promoted thrombus dissolution in injured arterioles. Our findings reveal that ADAMTS13 has a powerful natural antithrombotic activity and recombinant ADAMTS13 could be used as an antithrombotic agent.
Project description:Shiga toxin 1 (Stx-1) and Stx-2 produced by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli cause the diarrhea-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This type of HUS is characterized by obstruction of the glomeruli and renal microvasculature by platelet-fibrin thrombi, acute renal failure, thrombocytopenia, microvascular hemolytic anemia, and plasma levels of von Willebrand factor (VWF)-cleaving protease (ADAMTS13) activity that are within a broad normal range. We investigated the mechanism of initial platelet accumulation on Stx-stimulated endothelial cells. Stx-1 or Stx-2 (1-10 nM) stimulated the rapid secretion of unusually large (UL) VWF multimeric strings from human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) or human glomerular microvascular endothelial cells (GMVECs). Perfused normal human platelets immediately adhered to the secreted ULVWF multimeric strings. Nanomolar concentrations (1-10 nM) of the Shiga toxins were as effective in inducing the formation of ULVWF-platelet strings as millimolar concentrations (0.1-20 mM) of histamine. The rate of ULVWF-platelet string cleavage by plasma or recombinant ADAMTS13 was delayed by 3 to 10 minutes (or longer) in the presence of 10 nM Stx-1 or Stx-2 compared with 20 mM histamine. Stx-induced formation of ULVWF strings, and impairment of ULVWF-platelet string cleavage by ADAMTS13, may promote initial platelet adhesion above glomerular endothelial cells. These processes may contribute to the evolution of glomerular occlusion by platelet and fibrin thrombi in diarrhea-associated HUS.
Project description:In vivo testing of novel antiplatelet agents requires informative biomarkers. By genetically modifying mouse von Willebrand factor (VWF(R1326H)), we have developed a small animal model that supports human but not mouse platelet-mediated thrombosis. Here, we evaluate the use of this biological platform as a pharmacodynamic biomarker for antithrombotic therapies.The antithrombotic effects of several ?IIb?3 inhibitors were determined in VWF(R1326H) mutant mice infused with human platelets. Administration of abciximab, eptifibatide, or tirofiban at doses recommended for percutaneous coronary intervention (per 1 kg of body weight) significantly reduced human platelet-mediated thrombus formation in laser-injured arterioles by > 75% (P < 0.001). In contrast, clot size in wild-type control animals remained essentially unchanged (P > 0.05), results consistent with observed species differences in IC?? values obtained by aggregometry. To further demonstrate that our biological platform is unique among standard mouse models, we evaluated the thrombogenic potential of platelets from healthy volunteers before and after clopidogrel therapy. Consistent with the antithrombotic effect of this agent, platelets postdrug administration formed smaller thrombi than cells before therapy and were less responsive to ADP-induced aggregation (P < 0.001).The ability of ?IIb?3 and P2Y?? inhibitors to limit human platelet clot formation at doses recommended by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association suggests that VWF(R1326H) mutant mice can serve as both a pharmacodynamic and a functional response biomarker, attributes essential for not only expediting drug development but also designing clinical studies.
Project description:The mechanism by which thrombotic vessel occlusion occurs independently of plaque development or endothelial cell (EC) disruption remains unclear, largely because of an inability to visualize the formation of thrombus, especially at the single-platelet level in real time. Here we demonstrate that rapidly developing thrombi composed of discoid platelets can be induced in the mesenteric capillaries, arterioles, and large-sized arteries of living mice, enabling characterization of the kinetics of thrombosis initiation and the multicellular interrelationships during thrombus development. Platelet aggregation without EC disruption was triggered by reactive oxygen species (ROS) photochemically induced by moderate power laser irradiation. The inflammatory cytokines TNF-? and IL-1 could be key components of the EC response, acting through regulation of VWF mobilization to the cell surface. Thrombus formation was then initiated by the binding of platelet GPIb? to endothelial VWF in our model, and this effect was inhibited by the ROS scavenger N-acetylcysteine. Actin linker talin-dependent activation of alphaIIb-beta3 integrin or Rac1 in platelets was required for late-phase thrombus stability. Our novel imaging technology illustrates the molecular mechanism underlying inflammation-based thrombus formation by discoid platelets on undisrupted ECs and suggests control of ROS could be a useful therapeutic target for the prevention of thrombotic diseases.
Project description:The Bruton tyrosine kinase (Btk) inhibitor ibrutinib induces platelet dysfunction and causes increased risk of bleeding. Off-target inhibition of Tec is believed to contribute to platelet dysfunction and other side effects of ibrutinib. The second-generation Btk inhibitor acalabrutinib was developed with improved specificity for Btk over Tec. We investigated platelet function in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) receiving ibrutinib or acalabrutinib by aggregometry and by measuring thrombus formation on collagen under arterial shear. Both patient groups had similarly dysfunctional aggregation responses to collagen and collagen-related peptide, and comparison with mechanistic experiments in which platelets from healthy donors were treated with the Btk inhibitors suggested that both drugs inhibit platelet Btk and Tec at physiological concentrations. Only ibrutinib caused dysfunctional thrombus formation, whereas size and morphology of thrombi following acalabrutinib treatment were of normal size and morphology. We found that ibrutinib but not acalabrutinib inhibited Src family kinases, which have a critical role in platelet adhesion to collagen that is likely to underpin unstable thrombus formation observed in ibrutinib patients. We found that platelet function was enhanced by increasing levels of von Willebrand factor (VWF) and factor VIII (FVIII) ex vivo by addition of intermediate purity FVIII (Haemate P) to blood from patients, resulting in consistently larger thrombi. We conclude that acalabrutinib avoids major platelet dysfunction associated with ibrutinib therapy, and platelet function may be enhanced in patients with B-cell NHL by increasing plasma VWF and FVIII.