Objective-Platelets play a dual role in thrombosis by forming aggregates and stimulating coagulation. We investigated the commitment of platelets to these separate functions during collagen-induced thrombus formation in vitro and in vivo. Methods and Results-High-resolution 2-photon fluorescence microscopy revealed that in thrombus formation under flow, fibrin(ogen)-binding platelets assembled into separate aggregates, whereas distinct patches of nonaggregated platelets exposed phosphatidylserine. The latter platelet population had inactivated alpha IIb beta 3 integrins and displayed increased binding of coagulation factors. Coated platelets, expressing serotonin binding sites, were not identified as a separate population. Thrombin generation and coagulation favored the transformation to phosphatidylserine-exposing platelets with inactivated integrins and reduced adhesion. Prolonged tyrosine phosphorylation in vitro resulted in secondary downregulation of active alpha IIb beta 3. Conclusions-These results lead to a new spatial model of thrombus formation, in which aggregated platelets ensure thrombus stability, whereas distinct patches of nonaggregated platelets effectuate procoagulant activity and generate thrombin and fibrin. Herein, the hemostatic activity of a developing thrombus is determined by the balance in formation of proaggregatory and procoagulant platelets. This balance is influenced by antiplatelet and anticoagulant medication.
- integrin activation