PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles

Biochemistry - Critical Care and Emergency Medicine - Hematology - Immunology - Physiology

Platelet-Derived Toll-Like Receptor 4 (Tlr-4) Is Sufficient to Promote Microvascular Thrombosis in Endotoxemia
Published: Friday, July 20, 2012
Author: Ryan J. Stark et al.

by Ryan J. Stark, Niloufar Aghakasiri, Rolando E. Rumbaut

Endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) produced by gram-negative bacteria initiates a host of pro-inflammatory effects through Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4). We reported previously that LPS enhances microvascular thrombosis in cremaster venules of wild-type mice, but had no effect in mice deficient in TLR-4. Since TLR-4 is expressed on various cell types, the cellular origin of TLR-4 responsible for the LPS-enhanced thrombosis remains undetermined. Platelets are known to express functional TLR-4. Platelet-derived TLR-4 has been suggested to mediate various inflammatory responses in endotoxemia, including production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1ß), two cytokines reported to enhance microvascular thrombosis. We determined whether platelet-derived TLR-4 was sufficient to mediate the enhanced thrombosis induced by endotoxin and whether these responses were accompanied by systemic increases in TNF-a and IL-1ß. We isolated platelets from wild-type mice and transfused them into either of two strains of TLR-4-deficient mice (C57BL/10ScN and B6.B10ScN-TLR-4lps-del/Jth). The mice were then injected with LPS or saline, and the kinetics of thrombosis were studied 4 hours later. Transfusion of wild-type platelets restored responsiveness to LPS in TLR-4-deficient mice with regards to microvascular thrombosis but not to plasma levels of TNF-a or IL-1ß. The accelerated rates of microvascular thrombosis induced by platelet transfusions were specific to TLR-4, since isolation and transfusion of platelets derived from TLR-4-deficient donors did not restore responsiveness to LPS. These studies demonstrate that platelet-derived TLR-4 is sufficient to promote microvascular thrombosis in endotoxemia, independent of systemic increases in TNF-a or IL-1ß.