Inhibition of platelet function by polymorphonuclear leukocytes

A. Zatta, M. Prosdocimi, V. Bertele, G. Bazzoni, A. Del Maschio

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Human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) were evaluated for their ability to modulate platelet response induced by collagen, thrombin, platelet-activating factor and the stable analog of cyclic endoperoxides U46619. Platelet aggregation was first evaluated in whole blood and in leukocyte-depleted whole blood by the impedance method. This novel approach highlighted the inhibitory role of leukocytes on platelet aggregation in whole blood. The inhibitory role of PMNs on platelet function was subsequently evaluated on washed cells. PMN inhibition of platelet aggregation and β-thromboglobulin release was more evident with threshold concentrations of stimuli. The inhibition also depended on the number of PMNs incubated in mixed cellular suspensions. Higher concentrations of stimuli may overcome the PMN-dependent inhibition. Under this condition, preincubation of cells with N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (a specific PMN agonist) restored the inhibitory effect of PMNs on platelet aggregation in whole blood and in mixed cellular suspensions. Not only PMNs, but also PMN-derived supernatants, dose-dependently inhibited U46619-induced platelet aggregation, suggesting that the inhibition observed may be exerted by chemically stable compound(s). Cytoplasmic Ca2+ movement was measured in aequorin-loaded platelets exposed to thrombin or U46619 to see whether cytoplasmic Ca2+ levels were affected by PMN. Ca2+ levels were similar in the presence or absence of PMNs, suggesting that inhibition may be related to a subsequent platelet response step. A series of bioassay experiments showed that PMNs were able to remove and/or convert adenosine disphosphate available for platelet aggregation but not to reduce U46619 availability. Our findings suggest that (1) unstimulated PMNs may release factor(s) that inhibit platelet aggregation and β-thromboglobulin release; (2) this in itself is sufficient to block the platelet response to a threshold concentration of stimuli; (3) release of the same or other inhibitory mediators from stimulated PMNs may have to be greater to inhibit platelet response to higher concentrations of stimuli. Data presented here suggest that adenosine diphosphatase activity and chemically stable, as yet unidentified, compounds besides previously well-characterized labile compounds such as nitric oxide and arachidonic acid metabolites are responsible for the PMN-dependent mechanism of inhibition of platelet response that could be relevant in physiopathologic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-660
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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