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Hematology - Physiology

Platelets Retain High Levels of Active Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1
Published: Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Author: Helén Brogren et al.

by Helén Brogren, Karin Wallmark, Johanna Deinum, Lena Karlsson, Sverker Jern

The vascular fibrinolytic system is crucial for spontaneous lysis of blood clots. Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), the principal inhibitor of the key fibrinolytic enzyme tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), is present in platelets at high concentrations. However, the majority of PAI-1 stored in platelets has been considered to be inactive. Our recent finding (Brogren H, et al. Blood 2004) that PAI-1 de novo synthesized in platelets remained active for over 24 h, suggested that PAI-1 stored in the a-granules might be active to a larger extent than previously reported. To re-evaluate this issue, we performed experiments where the fraction of active PAI-1 was estimated by analyzing the tPA-PAI-1 complex formation. In these experiments platelets were lysed with Triton X-100 in the presence of serial dilutions of tPA and subsequently the tPA-PAI-1 complex was evaluated by Western blot. Also, using a non-immunologic assay, tPA was labeled with 125I, and 125I-tPA and 125I-tPA-PAI-1 was quantified by scintigraphy. Interestingly, both methods demonstrated that the majority (>50%) of platelet PAI-1 is active. Further analyses suggested that pre-analytical procedures used in previous studies (sonication or freezing/thawing) may have substantially reduced the activity of platelet PAI-1, which has lead to an underestimation of the proportion of active PAI-1. Our in vitro results are more compatible with the role of PAI-1 in clot stabilization as demonstrated in physiological and pathophysiological studies.