Platelet hypersensitivity induced by cholesterol incorporation

The Journal of Clinical Investigation
S J ShattilR A Cooper


Platelets from individuals with familial hypercholesterolemia show increased sensitivity to the aggregating atents, epinephrine and ADP. Since the mechanism of this abnormal sensitivity is unknown, we examined, in vitro, the influence of the plasma lipid environment on the function of platelets. The composition of plasma lipids was altered by the addition of sonicated cholesterol-dipalmitoyl lecithin liposomes which were "cholesterol normal" (cholesterol-phospholipid mole ratio [C/P] equals 1.0, "cholesterol rich" (C/P eauals 2.2), or "cholesterol poor" (C/P equals 0). Cholesterol-normal liposomes had no influence on platelet lipids or platelet function. In contrast, after incubation for 5 h at 37 degrees C with cholesterol-rich liposomes, normal platelets acquired 39.2% excess cholesterol with no change in phospholipids or protein. The percent increase in platelet membrane cholesterol was three-fold that of the granule fraction. The acquisition of cholesterol by platelets was associated with a 35-fold increase in sensitivity to epinephrine-induced aggregation (P less than 0.001) and 15-fold increase to ADP aggregation (P less than 0.001), as determined both by aggregometry and by [13C]serotonin release. Response to thrombin or...Continue Reading


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