Association of fibrinogen with human platelets pretreated with chymotrypsin or aggregated with ADP or thrombin: an immunocytochemical study
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Although platelets can be induced to aggregate in the absence of external fibrinogen, the response is greatly potentiated by fibrinogen and fibrinogen becomes associated with the surface of stimulated platelets. We compared the aggregation response and association of fibrinogen with the surface of platelets aggregated by ADP or thrombin, and of chymotrypsin-treated platelets aggregated by fibrinogen. The association of fibrinogen with the surface of the platelets was visualized using an electron microscope immunocytochemical method. The aggregation response and the pattern of fibrinogen association was different with each of the three agonists studied. ADP-induced aggregation was associated with pseudopod formation and fibrinogen binding; granule contents were not released and aggregation and fibrinogen binding were reversible. Thrombin-induced aggregation was associated with extensive pseudopod formation and the release of granule contents, but platelet-to-platelet adherence did not appear to involve fibrinogen binding at sites remote from regions of granule discharge; disaggregation did not occur, and visible fibrin did not form rapidly in the absence of added fibrinogen. Fibrinogen-induced aggregation/agglutination of chymotrypsin-treated platelets was similar to ADP-induced aggregation in that fibrinogen binding was required and granule contents were not released; it differed from ADP-induced aggregation in that pseudopod formation did not occur and the aggregates were irreversible. Fibrinogen-induced aggregation of chymotrypsin-treated platelets differed from thrombin-induced aggregation of untreated platelets in every respect except irreversibility. Thus neither pseudopod formation, fibrinogen binding nor the release of granule contents is essential for platelet-to-platelet adherence, although one or other or all may occur in association with it. If platelets are not stimulated to release their granule contents, fibrinogen binding appears to be necessary for extensive platelet aggregation.
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