PloS one

In vitro and in vivo evidence that thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) contributes to stirring- and shear-dependent activation of platelet-derived TGF-beta1.

PMID 19672301


Thrombospondin 1 (TSP-1), which is contained in platelet alpha-granules and released with activation, has been shown to activate latent TGF-beta1 in vitro, but its in vivo role is unclear as TSP-1-null (Thbs1(-/-)) mice have a much less severe phenotype than TGF-beta1-null (Tgfb1(-/-)) mice. We recently demonstrated that stirring and/or shear could activate latent TGF-beta1 released from platelets and have now studied these methods of TGF-beta1 activation in samples from Thbs1(-/-) mice, which have higher platelet counts and higher levels of total TGF-beta1 in their serum than wild type mice. After either two hours of stirring or shear, Thbs1(-/-) samples demonstrated less TGF-beta1 activation (31% and 54% lower levels of active TGF-beta1 in serum and platelet releasates, respectively). TGF-beta1 activation in Thbs1(-/-) mice samples was normalized by adding recombinant human TSP-1 (rhTSP-1). Exposure of platelet releasates to shear for one hour led to near depletion of TSP-1, but this could be prevented by preincubating samples with thiol-reactive agents. Moreover, replenishing rhTSP-1 to human platelet releasates after one hour of stirring enhanced TGF-beta1 activation. In vivo TGF-beta1 activation in carotid artery thrombi was also partially impaired in Thbs1(-/-) mice. These data indicate that TSP-1 contributes to shear-dependent TGF-beta1 activation, thus providing a potential explanation for the inconsistent in vitro data previously reported as well as for the differences in phenotypes of Thbs1(-/-) and Tgfb1(-/-) mice.