Agents that affect platelet shape may be useful in understanding the mechanism of shape change; for this reason the effects of local anesthetics are worthy of further study. Local anesthetics cause platelets to retract filopodia. At short time intervals (up to about 30 min) and low concentrations of the drugs, the filopodia are reextended when the platelets are gel filtered with eluant free of anesthetic. At longer time intervals (1–2 hr) or higher drug concentrations, the retraction becomes irreversible. When the polypeptide composition of the total platelet lysate was examined on SDS gels, proteolysis of two high molecular weight bands was seen when the suppression became irreversible. These polypeptides, estimated as 250,000 and 230,000 daltons, were major components of a precipitate that formed when platelets were lysed at low ionic strength and were also enriched in a “cytoskeletal” preparation made by lysing platelets attached to glass beads and analyzing the adherent residue. Electron micrographs of platelets lysed on surfaces showed an intermeshed network of filaments to be a major component of the residue. The results suggest that the proteins comprised of these bands may be part of the cytoskeletal system and that their integrity may be necessary for the platelet to reextend filopodia following suppression.

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