Abstract 486

The role of intracellular secondary messenger cGMP in platelet activation has been controversial, with both stimulatory and inhibitory roles reported. The platelet cGMP is believed to be predominantly synthesized by soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC), which is activated by nitric oxide (NO). To specifically determine the role of sGC-dependent cGMP synthesis in platelet function and in vivo thrombosis and hemostasis, we produced mice harboring a “floxed” sGC beta1 allele. In the “floxed” sGC beta1 mice (sGC beta1fl/fl), the exons 7 and 8 of sGC beta1 gene and an inserted Neo cassette were flanked with three LoxP sites. Platelet-specific deletion of sGC beta1fl/fl allele was accomplished through breeding of the sGC beta1fl/fl mice with pf4-Cre recombinase transgenic mice. Immunoblotting showed the complete absence of this protein in sGC beta1fl/fl/Cre platelets. Mice lacking sGC beta1 in platelets appeared to develop normally and had normal blood counts, including platelets. Blood pressure of platelet-specific sGC deficient mice was comparable to that of wild-type littermates. Inactivating the sGC beta1 gene in platelets abolished cGMP production induced by either NO donors or platelet agonists that are known to activate endogenous NO synthesis, confirming that both the platelet agonist-induced and NO donor-induced platelet cGMP production are predominantly mediated by sGC. Platelets lacking sGC exhibit a marked defect in aggregation and secretion in response to low doses of platelet agonists, collagen and thrombin. Importantly, tail-bleeding times were significantly prolonged in the platelet-specific sGC deficient mice compared with the wild-type littermates. In a FeCl3-induced carotid artery thrombosis model, time to occlusive thrombosis was prolonged in the platelet-specific sGC deficient mice, compared to wild type littermates. Thus, the agonist-stimulated sGC activation is important in promoting platelet granule secretion and aggregation. On the other hand, NO donor SNP-induced inhibition of platelet activation was abolished in sGC-deficient platelets. However, at high concentrations (>100μM), SNP inhibited platelet activation in both wild type and sGC deficient mice, indicating that both cGMP-dependent and -independent mechanisms are involved in NO donor-induced inhibition of platelet activation. Together, our data demonstrate that sGC contributes to both agonist-induced platelet activation and NO donor-induced platelet inhibition.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.