Platelet adhesion and aggregation at sites of vascular injury are key events required for haemostasis and thrombosis. It has been documented that von Willebrand factor (VWF) and fibrinogen (Fg) are required for platelet adhesion and aggregation. However, we previously showed that occlusive thrombi still form in mice deficient for both Fg and VWF (Fg/VWF−/−) via a β3 integrin-dependent pathway. Here, we have investigated novel, non-classical ligands of β3 integrin that may regulate platelet adhesion and aggregation. To identify potential ligand(s) of β3 integrin, latex beads were coated with purified human platelet β3 integrin and incubated with human plasma. Protein(s) specifically associated with β3 integrin were electrophoresed and apolipoprotein AIV (ApoA-IV) was identified by mass spectrometry. We found that ApoA-IV binds to the surface of stimulated platelets, but not to quiescent platelets or β3−/− platelets, and ApoA-IV/platelet association was blocked by the addition of a specific anti-β3 integrin monoclonal antibody. It appears that ApoA-IV binds to, but is not internalized by platelet β3 integrins. ApoA-IV-deficient (ApoA-IV−/−) mice exhibited enhanced platelet aggregation induced by ADP, Collagen, and TRAP in plasma (but not PIPES buffer) compared to wild type (WT) littermates. This enhancement was diminished when ApoA-IV−/− plasma was replaced by WT plasma, indicating that the reduction was due to plasma ApoA-IV and not an unrelated platelet effect. When platelets were incubated with FITC-Fg, ApoA-IV was able to reduce platelet/Fg association, indicating that ApoA-IV may act to displace pro-thrombotic β3 integrin ligand(s). In support of this, ApoA-IV reduced the number of adherent platelets on immobilized Fg in perfusion chamber assays and enhanced thrombus formation was observed when ApoA-IV−/− mouse blood was perfused over collagen. We found that addition of recombinant ApoA-IV inhibited platelet aggregation and thrombus formation in vitro, while the control apolipoprotein ApoA-I did not. Using intravital microscopy, we further demonstrated that early platelet deposition was increased, and the time for thrombus formation and vessel occlusion were shorter in ApoA-IV−/− mice, which can be corrected by recombinant ApoA-IV transfusion. Furthermore, recombinant ApoA-IV inhibited WT platelet aggregation, thrombus formation and enhanced thrombus dissolution both in vitro and in vivo. Our data demonstrate for the first time that ApoA-IV is a novel ligand of platelet β3 integrin that negatively regulates thrombosis. These new data are consistent with the reported association between ApoA-IV and reduced cardiovascular diseases, and establish the first link between ApoA-IV and thrombosis.
No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.
Christopher Spring, Wuxun Jin and Hong Yang contributed equally to this work.