Marked temperature dependence of the platelet calcium signal induced by human von Willebrand factor

J C Kermode, Q Zheng, E P Milner
Blood 1999 July 1, 94 (1): 199-207
Interaction of von Willebrand factor (vWF) with the platelet is essential to hemostasis when vascular injury occurs. This interaction elevates the intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) and promotes platelet activation. The present study investigated the temperature dependence of vWF-induced [Ca2+]i signaling in human platelets. The influence of temperature can provide invaluable insight into the underlying mechanism. Platelet [Ca2+]i was monitored with Fura-PE3. Ristocetin-mediated binding of vWF induced a transient platelet [Ca2+]i increase at 37 degrees C, but no response at lower temperatures (20 degrees C to 25 degrees C). This temperature dependence could not be attributed to a reduction in vWF binding, as ristocetin-mediated platelet aggregation and agglutination were essentially unaffected by temperature. Most other platelet agonists (U-46619, alpha-thrombin, and adenosine 5'-diphosphate [ADP]) induced a [Ca2+]i signal whose amplitude did not diminish at lower temperatures. The [Ca2+]i signal in response to arachidonic acid, however, showed similar temperature dependence to that seen with vWF. Assessment of thromboxane A2 production showed a strong temperature dependence for metabolism of arachidonic acid by the cyclo-oxygenase pathway. vWF induced thromboxane A2 production in the platelet. Aspirin treatment abolished the vWF-induced [Ca2+]i signal. These observations suggest that release of arachidonic acid and its conversion to thromboxane A2 play a central role in vWF-mediated [Ca2+]i signaling in the platelet at physiological temperatures.

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