Journal of translational medicine

Platelet storage induces accelerated desialylation of platelets and increases hepatic thrombopoietin production.

PMID 30021591


Stored platelets undergo deleterious changes, referred to as platelet storage lesions (PSLs), which accelerate the desialylation of platelets and result in their phagocytosis and clearance by hepatic macrophages. Recent studies have reported that Ashwell-Morell receptor binds to desialylated platelets, thereby inducing hepatic thrombopoietin (TPO) production in a mouse model. Therefore, this study aimed to demonstrate these relationships between PSL and hepatic TPO production in human study. Platelet concentrates (PCs) were obtained from 5 healthy volunteers and the remaining were discarded samples from the blood bank. PCs were divided into two halves, and stored either at 22 or 4 °C. Experiments were conducted using serial samples. Desialylation was assessed using flow cytometry, and structural changes were visualized using electron microscopy. Following co-culture of HepG2 cells (HB-8065, ATCC) with isolated platelets, hepatic TPO production was determined using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and the supernatant TPO level was measured using a Luminex kit. For 5 days of storage duration, platelet counts were not influenced by the storage conditions, but the degree of desialylation was proportional to the storage duration. Significant changes in the platelet surface and structure according to storage conditions were noted in electron microscopy. HepG2 cells incubated with aged platelets expressed more TPO mRNA, and supernatant TPO levels were proportional to the storage duration. Refrigeration also influenced on the results of this study, but they were not statistically significant. This is the first study to demonstrate that, in vitro, aging and refrigeration affect the integrity of human platelets, resulting in induction of hepatic TPO mRNA and protein expression.