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Arderiu G, Pérez-Pujol S, Escolar G, White JG, Diaz-Ricart M

External calcium facilitates signalling, contractile and secretory mechanisms induced after activation of platelets by collagen.

Platelets. 2008 May;19(3):172-81, PMID: 18432518

Platelet activation leads to the initiation of intracellular signalling processes, many of which are triggered by Ca2+. We have studied the involvement of exogenous Ca2+ in platelet response to collagen activation. Platelet suspensions were prepared with and without adding external calcium in the suspension buffers. Activation with collagen (Col-I) was carried out, before and after incubation with cytochalasin B (Cyt-B) to block the actin assembly and the cytoskeletal reorganization. We evaluated changes in (i) tyrosine phosphorylation of proteins, in platelet lysates and associated with the cytoskeletal fraction, (ii) the association of contractile proteins to the cytoskeleton, (iii) expression of intraplatelet substances at the surface, and (iv) cytosolic Ca2+ levels ([Ca2+]i). Ultrastructural evaluation of platelets by electron microscopy was also performed. Platelet activation by Col-I in the absence of added Ca2+ was followed by mild association of actin and other contractile proteins, low phosphorylation of proteins at tyrosine residues, lack of expression of intraplatelet substances at the membrane, and absence of aggregation. In the presence of millimolar Ca2+, Col-I induced intense actin filament formation with association of contractile proteins with the cytoskeleton, resulting in profound morphological changes. Under these conditions, Col-I induced signalling through tyrosine phosphorylation, with increases in the [Ca2+]i, release of intragranule content and aggregation. Inhibiting actin polymerization with Cyt-B prevented all these events. Our data indicates that platelet activation by collagen requires external Ca2+. Studies with Cyt-B indicate that assembly of new actin and cytoskeleton-mediated contraction, both dependent on exogenous Ca2+, are key events for platelet activation by collagen. In addition, our results confirm that entrance of exogenous Ca2+ depends on a functional cytoskeleton.


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