Journal of thrombosis and haemostasis : JTH

Live imaging of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and protein kinase A activities during thrombus formation in mice expressing biosensors based on Förster resonance energy transfer.

PMID 28453888


Essentials Spatiotemporal regulation of protein kinases during thrombus formation remains elusive in vivo. Activities of protein kinases were live imaged in mouse platelets at laser-ablated arterioles. Protein kinase A was activated in the dislodging platelets at the downstream side of the thrombus. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase was activated at the core of contracting platelet aggregates. Background The dynamic features of thrombus formation have been visualized by conventional video widefield microscopy or confocal microscopy in live mice. However, owing to technical limitations, the precise spatiotemporal regulation of intracellular signaling molecule activities, which have been extensively studied in vitro, remains elusive in vivo. Objectives To visualize, by the use of two-photon excitation microscopy of transgenic mice expressing Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensors for extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and protein kinase A (PKA), ERK and PKA activities during thrombus formation in laser-injured subcutaneous arterioles. Results When a core of densely packed platelets had developed, ERK activity was increased from the basal region close to the injured arterioles. PKA was activated at the downstream side of an unstable shell overlaying the core of platelets. Intravenous administration of a MEK inhibitor, PD0325901, suppressed platelet tethering and dislodged platelet aggregates, indicating that ERK activity is indispensable for both initiation and maintenance of the thrombus. A cAMP analog, dbcAMP, inhibited platelet tethering but failed to dislodge the preformed platelet aggregates, suggesting that PKA can antagonize thrombus formation only in the early phase. Conclusion In vivo imaging of transgenic mice expressing FRET biosensors will open a new opportunity to visualize the spatiotemporal changes in signaling molecule activities not only during thrombus formation but also in other hematologic disorders.

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