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Hematopoiesis

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Curator

LPBI

 

Hematopoietic Stem Cells Use a Simple Heirarchy

 

hematopoiesis-from-multipotent-stem-cell

https://beyondthedish.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/hematopoiesis-from-multipotent-stem-cell.jpg

 

These papers challenge this model by arguing that the CMP does not exist. Let me say that again – the CMP, a cell that has been identified several times in mouse and human bone marrow isolates, does not exist. When CMPs were identified from mouse and human none marrow extracts, they were isolated by means of flow cytometry, which is a very powerful technique, but relies on the assumption that the cell type you want to isolate is represented by the cell surface protein you have chosen to use for its isolation. Once the presumptive CMP was isolated, it could recapitulate the myeloid lineage when implanted into the bone marrow of laboratory animals and it could also produce all the myeloid cells in cell culture. Sounds convincing doesn’t it?

In a paper in Science magazine, Faiyaz Notta and colleagues from the University of Toronto beg to differ. By using a battery of antibodies to particular cell surface molecules, Notta and others identified 11 different cell types from umbilical cord blood, bone marrow, and human fetal liver that isolates that would have traditionally been called the CMP. It turns out that the original CMP isolate was a highly heterogeneous mixture of different cell types that were all descended from the HSC, but had different developmental potencies.

 

Notta and others used single-cell culture assays to determine what kinds of cells these different cell types would make. Almost 3000 single-cell cultures later, it was clear that the majority of the cultured cells were unipotent (could differentiate into only one cell type) rather than multipotent. In fact, the cell that makes platelets, the megakarocyte, seems to derive directly from the MPP, which jives with the identification of megakarocyte progenitors within the HSC compartment of bone marrow that make platelets “speedy quick” in response to stress (see R. Yamamoto et al., Cell 154, 1112 (2013); S. Haas, Cell Stem Cell 17, 422 (2015)).

Another paper in the journal Cell by Paul and others from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel examined over 2700 mouse CMPs and subjected these cells to gene expression analyses (so-called single-cell transriptome analysis). If the CMP is truly multipotent, then you would expect it to express genes associated with lots of different lineages, but that is not what Paul and others found. Instead, their examination of 3461 genes revealed 19 different progenitor subpopulations, and each of these was primed toward one of the seven myeloid cell fates. Once again, the presumptive CMPs looked very unipotent at the level of gene expression.

One particular subpopulation of cells had all the trappings of becoming a red blood cell and there was no indication that these cells expressed any of the megakarocyte-specific genes you would expect to find if MEPS truly existed. Once again, it looks as though unipotency is the main rule once the MPP commits to a particular cell lineage.

Thus, it looks as though either the CMP is a very short-lived state or that it does not exist in mouse and human bone marrow. Paul and others did show that cells that could differentiate into more than one cell type can appear when regulation is perturbed, which suggests that under pathological conditions, this system has a degree of plasticity that allows the body to compensate for losses of particular cell lineages.

 A model of the changes in human My-Er-Mk differentiation that occur across developmental time points. Graphical depiction of My-Er-Mk cell differentiation that encompasses the predominant lineage potential of progenitor subsets; the standard model is shown for comparison. The redefined model proposes a developmental shift in the progenitor cell architecture from the fetus, where many stem and progenitor cell types are multipotent, to the adult, where the stem cell compartment is multipotent but the progenitors are unipotent. The grayed planes represent theoretical tiers of differentiation.
A model of the changes in human My-Er-Mk differentiation that occur across developmental time points.
Graphical depiction of My-Er-Mk cell differentiation that encompasses the predominant lineage potential of progenitor subsets; the standard model is shown for comparison. The redefined model proposes a developmental shift in the progenitor cell architecture from the fetus, where many stem and progenitor cell types are multipotent, to the adult, where the stem cell compartment is multipotent but the progenitors are unipotent. The grayed planes represent theoretical tiers of differentiation.

Fetal HSCs, however, are a bird of a different feather, since they divide quickly and reside in fetal liver.  Also, these HSCs seem to produce CMPs, which is more in line with the classical model.  Does the environmental difference or fetal liver and bone marrow make the difference?  In adult bone marrow, some HSCs nestle next to blood vessels where they encounter cells that hang around blood vessels known as “pericytes.”  These pericytes sport a host of cell surface molecules that affect the proliferative status of HSCs (e.g., nestin, NG2).  What about fetal liver?  That’s not so clear – until now.

In the same issue of Science magazine, Khan and others from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, report that fetal liver also has pericytes that express the same cell surface molecules as the ones in bone marrow, and the removal of these cells reduces the numbers of and proliferative status of fetal liver HSCs.

Now we have a conundrum, because the same cells in bone marrow do not drive HSC proliferation, but instead drive HSC quiescence.  What gives? Khan and others showed that the fetal liver pericytes are part of an expanding and constantly remodeling blood system in the liver and this growing, dynamic environment fosters a proliferative behavior in the fetal HSCs.

When umbilical inlet is closed at birth, the liver pericytes stop expressing Nestin and NG2, which drives the HSCs from the fetal liver to the other place were such molecules are found in abundance – the bone marrow.

These models give us a better view of the inner workings of HSC differentiation.  Since HSC transplantation is one of the mainstays of leukemia and lymphoma treatment, understanding HSC biology more perfectly will certainly yield clinical pay dirt in the future.

 

Distinct routes of lineage development reshape the human blood hierarchy across ontogeny

In a classical view of hematopoiesis, the various blood cell lineages arise via a hierarchical scheme starting with multipotent stem cells that become increasingly restricted in their differentiation potential through oligopotent and then unipotent progenitors. We developed a cell-sorting scheme to resolve myeloid (My), erythroid (Er), and megakaryocytic (Mk) fates from single CD34+ cells and then mapped the progenitor hierarchy across human development. Fetal liver contained large numbers of distinct oligopotent progenitors with intermingled My, Er, and Mk fates. However, few oligopotent progenitor intermediates were present in the adult bone marrow. Instead, only two progenitor classes predominate, multipotent and unipotent, with Er-Mk lineages emerging from multipotent cells. The developmental shift to an adult “two-tier” hierarchy challenges current dogma and provides a revised framework to understand normal and disease states of human hematopoiesis.

Transcriptional Heterogeneity and Lineage Commitment in Myeloid Progenitors

Franziska Paul, et al.
Cell Dec 2015; Volume 163, Issue 7:1663–1677   http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2015.11.013
Figure thumbnail fx1
  • Transcriptionally primed single-cell subpopulations in early myeloid progenitors
  • Transcription factors and epigenetic landscapes that regulate myeloid priming
  • Mixed lineage states are not observed but appear when regulation is perturbed
  • New reference model for studying hematopoiesis at single-cell resolution

 

Summary

Within the bone marrow, stem cells differentiate and give rise to diverse blood cell types and functions. Currently, hematopoietic progenitors are defined using surface markers combined with functional assays that are not directly linked with in vivo differentiation potential or gene regulatory mechanisms. Here, we comprehensively map myeloid progenitor subpopulations by transcriptional sorting of single cells from the bone marrow. We describe multiple progenitor subgroups, showing unexpected transcriptional priming toward seven differentiation fates but no progenitors with a mixed state. Transcriptional differentiation is correlated with combinations of known and previously undefined transcription factors, suggesting that the process is tightly regulated. Histone maps and knockout assays are consistent with early transcriptional priming, while traditional transplantation experiments suggest that in vivo priming may still allow for plasticity given strong perturbations. These data establish a reference model and general framework for studying hematopoiesis at single-cell resolution.

 

 

Fetal liver hematopoietic stem cell niches associate with portal vessels

Jalal A. Khan, et al.   Science  08 Jan 2016; 351(6269):176-180   http://dx.doi.org:/10.1126/science.aad0084
How HSCs populate the fetal liver

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) undergo dramatic expansion in the fetal liver before migrating to their definitive site in the bone marrow. Khan et al. identify portal vessel–associated Nestin+NG2+ pericytes as critical HSC niche components (see the Perspective by Cabezas-Wallscheid and Trumpp). The portal vessel niche and HSCs expand according to fractal geometries, suggesting that niche cells—rather than factors expressed by the niche—drive HSC proliferation. After birth, arterial portal vessels transform into portal veins, and lose Nestin+NG2+pericytes. When this happens, the niche is lost and HSCs migrate away from the neonatal liver.

Science, this issue p. 176; see also p. 126

 

Whereas the cellular basis of the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche in the bone marrow has been characterized, the nature of the fetal liver niche is not yet elucidated. We show that Nestin+NG2+ pericytes associate with portal vessels, forming a niche promoting HSC expansion. Nestin+NG2+ cells and HSCs scale during development with the fractal branching patterns of portal vessels, tributaries of the umbilical vein. After closure of the umbilical inlet at birth, portal vessels undergo a transition from Neuropilin-1+Ephrin-B2+ artery to EphB4+ vein phenotype, associated with a loss of periportal Nestin+NG2+ cells and emigration of HSCs away from portal vessels. These data support a model in which HSCs are titrated against a periportal vascular niche with a fractal-like organization enabled by placental circulation.

 

 

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von Willebrand Factor

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Curator

LPBI

 

FDA approves first recombinant von Willebrand factor to treat bleeding episodes

Dr. Anthony Melvin Castro

 

 

12/08/2015 02:44
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Vonvendi, von Willebrand factor (Recombinant), for use in adults 18 years of age and older who have von Willebrand disease (VWD). Vonvendi is the first FDA-approved recombinant von Willebrand factor, and is approved for the on-demand (as needed) treatment and control of bleeding episodes in adults diagnosed with VWD.
Company Baxalta Inc.
Description Recombinant human von Willebrand factor (vWF)
Molecular Target von Willebrand factor (vWF)
Mechanism of Action
Therapeutic Modality Biologic: Protein
Latest Stage of Development Registration
Standard Indication Bleeding
Indication Details Treat and prevent bleeding episodes in von Willebrand disease (vWD) patients; Treat von Willebrand disease (vWD)
Regulatory Designation U.S. – Orphan Drug (Treat and prevent bleeding episodes in von Willebrand disease (vWD) patients);
EU – Orphan Drug (Treat and prevent bleeding episodes in von Willebrand disease (vWD) patients);
Japan – Orphan Drug (Treat and prevent bleeding episodes in von Willebrand disease (vWD) patients)

 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Vonvendi, von Willebrand factor (Recombinant), for use in adults 18 years of age and older who have von Willebrand disease (VWD). Vonvendi is the first FDA-approved recombinant von Willebrand factor, and is approved for the on-demand (as needed) treatment and control of bleeding episodes in adults diagnosed with VWD.

VWD is the most common inherited bleeding disorder, affecting approximately 1 percent of the U.S. population. Men and women are equally affected by VWD, which is caused by a deficiency or defect in von Willebrand factor, a protein that is critical for normal blood clotting. Patients with VWD can develop severe bleeding from the nose, gums, and intestines, as well as into muscles and joints. Women with VWD may have heavy menstrual periods lasting longer than average and may experience excessive bleeding after childbirth.

“Patients with heritable bleeding disorders should meet with their health care provider to discuss appropriate measures to reduce blood loss,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “The approval of Vonvendi provides an additional therapeutic option for the treatment of bleeding episodes in patients with von Willebrand disease.”

The safety and efficacy of Vonvendi were evaluated in two clinical trials of 69 adult participants with VWD. These trials demonstrated that Vonvendi was safe and effective for the on-demand treatment and control of bleeding episodes from a variety of different sites in the body. No safety concerns were identified in the trials. The most common adverse reaction observed was generalized pruritus (itching).

The FDA granted Vonvendi orphan product designation for these uses.Orphan product designation is given to drugs intended to treat rare diseases in order to promote their development.

Vonvendi is manufactured by Baxalta U.S., Inc., based in Westlake Village, California.

 

von Willebrand Disease

Author: Eleanor S Pollak; Chief Editor: Srikanth Nagalla

Von Willebrand disease (vWD) is a common, inherited, genetically and clinically heterogeneous hemorrhagic disorder caused by a deficiency or dysfunction of the protein termed von Willebrand factor (vWF). Consequently, defective vWF interaction between platelets and the vessel wall impairs primary hemostasis.

vWF, a large, multimeric glycoprotein, circulates in blood plasma at concentrations of approximately 10 mg/mL. In response to numerous stimuli, vWF is released from storage granules in platelets and endothelial cells. It performs two major roles in hemostasis. First, it mediates the adhesion of platelets to sites of vascular injury. Second, it binds and stabilizes the procoagulant protein factor VIII (FVIII). (See Etiology.)

vWD is divided into three major categories: (1) partial quantitative deficiency (type I), (2) qualitative deficiency (type II), and (3) total deficiency (type III). vWD type II is further divided into four variants (IIA, IIB, IIN, IIM), based on characteristics of dysfunctional vWF. These categories correspond to distinct molecular mechanisms, with corresponding clinical features and therapeutic recommendations.

For discussion of vWD in children, see Pediatric Von Willebrand Disease.

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/206996-overview

 

 

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Understanding the Stem Cell Niche: A Webinar by The Scientist

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

 

The Scientist

nature stem cell

Schematic diagram showing some of the factors implicated in each process. Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) bound to the bone-marrow niche are mobilized in response to granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) or cyclophosphamide, or after peripheral myeloablation following treatment with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). After extravasation from the bone-marrow cords into the microvasculature, HSCs enter the circulation and are distributed to peripheral tissues such as the spleen or liver. HSCs locate close to endothelial cells in the splenic red pulp. They home to the bone-marrow cords through the circulation, a process that is controlled by a number of adhesion molecules such as very late antigen 4 (VLA4), VLA5, lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA1) or selectins. After entering the bone marrow, HSCs specifically lodge in the niche, a process requiring membrane-bound stem-cell factor (SCF), CXC-chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12), osteopontin (OPN), hyaluronic acid, and their corresponding receptors. CXCR4, CXC-chemokine receptor 4; E-selectin, endothelial-cell selectin; P-selectin, platelet selectin; PSGL1, P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1.

 

Understanding the Stem Cell Niche

  This presentation will begin on Tuesday, December 01, 2015 at 02:30 PM Eastern Standard Time.
   

Free Webinar
Tuesday December 1, 2015
2:30 – 4:00 PM EST

Stem cells provide an attractive model to study human physiology and disease. However, technical challenges persist in the biological characterization and manipulation of stem cells in their native microenvironment. The Scientist brings together a panel of experts to discuss interactions between stem cells and external cues, and the role of the stem cell niche in development and disease. Topics to be covered include the molecular mechanisms of hematopoietic stem cell niche interactions and techniques for engineering 3-D stem-cell microenvironments. Following the presentations, attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions concerning their specific applications and receive answers in real-time.

Speakers:

Dr. Jon Hoggatt, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cancer Center and Center for Transplantation Sciences, Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Todd McDevitt, Senior Investigator, Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, Professor, Department of Bioengineering & Therapeutic Sciences, UCSF.

 

Understanding the Stem Cell Niche
Click Here To Watch The Video

To find out about our upcoming events follow us on Twitter @LabMgrEvents

 

Notes from Webinar:

Hematopoetic stem cells good model since now we have liquid biopsies (as a result field has skyrocketed).

Two processes involved with stem cells finding their niche

  1. Homing; CXCR4-SDK1 dependent process into the bone marrow.
  2. Mobilization: stem cells moving from bone into blood (found that GMCSF main factor responsible for this process)

Dr. Raymond Schofield was one of the first to propose the existence of this stem cell niche (each progenitor will produce a unique factor {possibly a therapeutic target} for example leptin+ receptor target perivascular cells so one target is good for only a small subset of stem cells)

Therefore it may be possible or advantageous to target the whole stem cell milieu. One such possible target they are investigating is CD26 (dipeptyl peptidase). The diabetes drug Januvia is an inhibitor of CD26.

It was also noticed if inhibit the GMCSF receptor complex can inhibit the whole stem cell niche.

Prostoglandins and stem cell niche

  • Indomethacin blocks the mobilization step
  • Prostaglandin E increases homing
  • GMCSF and malaxocam (COX2 inhibitor) flattens osteoblast cells and may be a mechanism how inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis blocks mobilization
  • Found that the PGE4 receptor is ultimately responsible for the NSAID effect

The niche after G-CSF

Dr. Hoggat found that macrophages are supplying the factors that support the niche. He will be presenting the findings at 2015 Hematology conference. (See information about his conference presentation here).

From the 57th Annual American Society of Hematology Meeting (2015) please see Dr. Hoggat’s moderated section Hematopoiesis and Stem Cells: Microenvironment, Cell Adhesion and Stromal Stem Cells: Hematopoietic Stem Cell Niche

 

Relevant articles from Dr. Hoggat

Anti-CD47 Therapy Is More Than a Dinner Bell October 19, 2015

Dr. Hoggatt looks at the therapeutic effects of blocking CD47 aside from alerting macrophages to devour tumor cells.

Hematopoietic Stem Cells Should Hold Their Breath August 12, 2015

Dr. Hoggatt and Hannah Rasmussen discuss new approaches to the use of hematopoietic stem cells considering observer effects that emerge due to our experimental systems for HSCs.

Prostaglandin E2 enhances hematopoietic stem cell homing, survival, and proliferation. Hoggatt J, Singh P, Sampath J, Pelus LM. Blood. 2009 May 28;113(22):5444-55. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-01-201335. Epub 2009 Mar 26.

 

Prostaglandin E2 enhances long-term repopulation but does not permanently alter inherent stem cell competitiveness. Hoggatt J, Mohammad KS, Singh P, Pelus LM. Blood. 2013 Oct 24;122(17):2997-3000. doi: 10.1182/blood-2013-07-515288. Epub 2013 Sep 18.

 

Pharmacologic increase in HIF1α enhances hematopoietic stem and progenitor homing and engraftment. Speth JM, Hoggatt J, Singh P, Pelus LM. Blood. 2014 Jan 9;123(2):203-7. doi: 10.1182/blood-2013-07-516336. Epub 2013 Oct 28.

 

Blockade of prostaglandin E2 signaling through EP1 and EP3 receptors attenuates Flt3L-dependent dendritic cell development from hematopoietic progenitor cells. Singh P, Hoggatt J, Hu P, Speth JM, Fukuda S, Breyer RM, Pelus LM. Blood. 2012 Feb 16;119(7):1671-82. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-03-342428. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

 

Recovery from hematopoietic injury by modulating prostaglandin E(2) signaling post-irradiation. Hoggatt J, Singh P, Stilger KN, Plett PA, Sampson CH, Chua HL, Orschell CM, Pelus LM. Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2013 Mar;50(3):147-53. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2012.11.006. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

 

Pulse exposure of haematopoietic grafts to prostaglandin E2 in vitro facilitates engraftment and recovery. Pelus LM, Hoggatt J, Singh P. Cell Prolif. 2011 Apr;44 Suppl 1:22-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2184.2010.00726.x.

 

Pleiotropic effects of prostaglandin E2 in hematopoiesis; prostaglandin E2 and other eicosanoids regulate hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell function. Pelus LM, Hoggatt J. Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat. 2011 Nov;96(1-4):3-9. doi: 10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2011.06.004. Epub 2011 Jun 21. Review.

 

Differential stem- and progenitor-cell trafficking by prostaglandin E2. Hoggatt J, Mohammad KS, Singh P, Hoggatt AF, Chitteti BR, Speth JM, Hu P, Poteat BA, Stilger KN, Ferraro F, Silberstein L, Wong FK, Farag SS, Czader M, Milne GL, Breyer RM, Serezani CH, Scadden DT, Guise TA, Srour EF, Pelus LM. Nature. 2013 Mar 21;495(7441):365-9. doi: 10.1038/nature11929. Epub 2013 Mar 13.

 

Eicosanoid regulation of hematopoiesis and hematopoietic stem and progenitor trafficking.Hoggatt J, Pelus LM. Leukemia. 2010 Dec;24(12):1993-2002. doi: 10.1038/leu.2010.216. Epub 2010 Sep 30. Review.

 

Hematopoietic stem cell mobilization with agents other than G-CSF. Hoggatt J, Pelus LM. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;904:49-67. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-943-3_4.

 

Mobilization of hematopoietic stem cells from the bone marrow niche to the blood compartment. Hoggatt J, Pelus LM. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2011 Mar 14;2(2):13. doi: 10.1186/scrt54. Review.

 

Engineering 3D Pluripotent Stem Cell Microenvironments by Todd McDevitt, Ph.D.

In recent years, it has finally been shown how to produce centrally derived (self assembling) organoids (microtissues).

 

How to specifically deliver specific morphogens in 3D organoids

 

  1. Microparticle (MP)-mediated delivery (can do in mouse and human): reduces the amount needed to be delivered

 

 

What are other effects of introduced MP in ES (embryonic stem cell) aggregates?

  1. a) physiocomechanical changes –mechanical effects of materials
  2. b) how changes in local presentation of factors affect bioavailbility and binding properties

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Dr. Venkat S. Karra, Ph.D.

Platelets are a natural source of growth factors and they circulate in the blood. They are involved in hemostasis, leading to the formation of blood clots. Platelets, otherwise known as thrombocytes, are small, irregularly shaped clear cell fragments derived from fragmentation of precursor megakaryocytes. The average lifespan of a platelet is 5 to 9 days. An abnormality or disease of the platelets leads to a condition called thrombocytopathy.

For example:
1. If the number of platelets is too low (called thrombocytopenia), excessive bleeding can occur.

Disorders leading to a reduced platelet count are:
Thrombocytopenia
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura – also known as immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
Drug-induced thrombocytopenic purpura (for example heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT))
Gaucher’s disease
Aplastic anemia
Onyalai
Alloimmune disorders
Fetomaternal alloimmune thrombocytopenia

2. If the number of platelets is too high (called thrombocytosis), blood clots (thrombosis) can form. Such clots in the blood may obstruct blood vessels and result in events like stroke, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism or the blockage of blood vessels to other parts of the body (e.g., arms, legs).

Disorders featuring an elevated count are:
Thrombocytosis, including essential thrombocytosis (elevated counts, either reactive or as an expression of myeloproliferative disease).

3. Thrombasthenia is a condition in which a decrease in function of platelets is observed.

Disorders leading to platelet dysfunction or reduced count are:
HELLP syndrome
Hemolytic-uremic syndrome
Chemotherapy
Dengue

Platelets play a significant role in the repair and regeneration of connective tissues. They release a multitude of growth factors, which have been used as an adjunct to wound healing, include:

Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), a potent chemotactic agent,
TGF beta, which stimulates the deposition of extracellular matrix.
Fibroblast growth factor,
Insulin-like growth factor 1,
Platelet-derived epidermal growth factor,
Vascular endothelial growth factor.

As said earlier, the function of platelets is the maintenance of hemostasis (the opposite of hemostasis is hemorrhage). This is achieved primarily by the formation of thrombi. When a damage to the endothelium of blood vessels occurs, the endothelial cells stop secretion of coagulation and aggregation inhibitors and instead secrete von Willebrand factor which initiate the maintenance of hemostasis after injury.

Hemostasis has three major steps: 1) vasoconstriction, 2) temporary blockage of a break by a platelet plug, and 3) blood coagulation, or formation of a clot that seals the hole until tissues are repaired.

The platelets get activated when a damage occurs to the blood vessel and the platelets clump at the site of blood vessel injury as a protective mechanism – a process that precedes the formation of a blood clot. This is the case if there is a damage to the endothelium otherwise thrombus formation should be considered seriously and must be inhibited immediately.

Vascular spasm is the first response as the blood vessels constrict to allow less blood to be lost during the injury to the blood vessel. In the second step – platelet plug formation – platelets stick together to form a temporary seal to cover the break in the vessel wall. The third and last step is called coagulation or blood clotting. Coagulation reinforces the platelet plug with fibrin threads that act as a “molecular glue”

Disorders of platelet adhesion or aggregation are:
Bernard-Soulier syndrome
Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia
Scott’s syndrome
von Willebrand disease
Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome
Gray platelet syndrome

In normal hemostasis a thin layer of endothelial cells, that are lined with the inner surface of blood vessels, act to inhibit platelet activation by producing nitric oxide, endothelial-ADPase (which clears away the platelet activator, ADP – this activator otherwise can be blocked by the famous blockbuster clopidogrel), and PGI2 (also known as prostacyclin or eicosanoids, like PGD2, PGI2 is an inflammatory product that inhibits the aggregation of platelets). Intact blood vessels are central to moderating blood’s tendency to clot because the endothelial cells of intact vessels prevent blood clotting with a heparin-like molecule and thrombomodulin and prevent platelet aggregation with
1. Nitric oxide (NO), and
2. Prostacyclin (PGI2) – a member of eicosanoids family.

In this post, nitric oxide role in inhibiting platelet aggregation will be presented. Similarly Interaction of NO and prostacyclin (PGI2) in vascular endothelium will be presented as a separate post.

Nitric oxide (NO) and its role in inhibiting platelet aggregation:

Nitric oxide (NO) is known as the ‘endothelium-derived relaxing factor’, or ‘EDRF’. The endothelium (inner lining) of blood vessels uses NO to signal the surrounding smooth muscle to relax, thus resulting in vasodilation and increasing blood flow. NO is biosynthesized endogenously from L-arginine, oxygen and NADPH by various nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzymes. Nitric oxide is highly reactive and yet diffuses freely across membranes that makes it ideal for a transient paracrine (between adjacent cells) and autocrine (within a single cell) signaling molecule.

This is an important cellular signaling molecule involved in many physiological and pathological processes. It is a powerful vasodilator with a short half-life of a few seconds in the blood. Low levels of nitric oxide production are important in protecting organs such as the liver from ischemic damage. Nitric oxide is considered an antianginal drug as it causes vasodilation, which can help with ischemic pain, known as angina, by decreasing the cardiac workload. By dilating the veins, nitric oxide lowers arterial pressure and left ventricular filling pressure. This vasodilation does not decrease the volume of blood the heart pumps, but rather it decreases the force the heart muscle must exert to pump the same volume of blood.

Chronic expression of NO is associated with various carcinomas and inflammatory conditions including Type-1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and ulcerative colitis.

Endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF), the best-characterized is nitric oxide (NO), is produced and released by the endothelium to promote smooth muscle relaxation. EDRF was discovered and characterized by Robert F. Furchgott, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1998 with his co-researchers Louis J. Ignarro and Ferid Murad.

According to Furchgott’s website at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, “…we are investigating whether the endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) is simply nitric oxide or a mixture of substances”.

Although there is strong evidence that nitric oxide elicits vasodilation, there is some evidence tying this effect to neuronal rather than endothelial reactions. http://www.nature.com/jhh/journal/v15/n4/abs/1001165a.html.

The article says that “The possibility that neuronal rather than endothelial production of NO might play a significant role in the aetiology of essential hypertension is a promising area for future human research”.

Mechanism of Platelet Aggregation:

Platelets aggregate, or clump together, using fibrinogen and von Willebrand factor (vWF) as a connecting agent. The most abundant platelet aggregation receptor is glycoprotein IIb/IIIa (gpIIb/IIIa) which is a calcium-dependent receptor for fibrinogen, fibronectin, vitronectin, thrombospondin, and vWF. Other receptors include GPIb-V-IX complex (vWF) and GPVI (collagen).

Activated platelets will adhere, via glycoprotein (GP) Ia, to the collagen that is exposed by endothelial damage. Aggregation and adhesion act together to form the platelet plug. Myosin and actin filaments in platelets are stimulated to contract during aggregation, further reinforcing the plug. Platelet aggregation is stimulated by ADP, thromboxane, and α2 receptor-activation, and further enhanced by exogenous administration of anabolic steroids.

In an injury to the blood vessel, once the blood clot takes control of the bleeding, the aggregated platelets help the healing process by secreting chemicals that promote the invasion of fibroblasts from surrounding connective tissue into the wounded area to completely heal the wound or form a scar. The obstructing clot is slowly dissolved by the fibrinolytic enzyme, plasmin, and the platelets are cleared by phagocytosis.

Possible usefulness of measuring GP IIb-IIIa content as a marker of increased platelet reactivity is discussed in the following very recent (2011) reveiw article: “Glycoprotein IIb-IIIa content and platelet aggregation in healthy volunteers and patients with acute coronary syndrome”. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21329420

Further readings:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3134593/?tool=pubmed

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2620689

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/25/nitric-oxide-production-in-systemic-sclerosis/

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/10/nitric-oxide-chemistry-and-function/

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/05/nitric-oxide-a-short-historic-perspective-7/

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/19/cardiovascular-disease-cvd-and-the-role-of-agent-alternatives-in-endothelial-nitric-oxide-synthase-enos-activation-and-nitric-oxide-production/

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/16/nitric-oxide-in-bone-metabolism/

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/06/22/bone-remodelling-in-a-nutshell/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2717403/?tool=pubmed

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7605019

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