Human and rhesus monkey platelets secrete at least two antiheparin proteins: platelet factor 4 (PF4) and low affinity platelet factor 4 (LA-PF4). Neither of these proteins showed species-related antigenic differences. As determined by radioimmunoassay, the levels of PF4 and LA-PF4 antigen per 10(9) monkey platelets amounted to 10.7 and 20.3 microgram, respectively. One milliliter of monkey plasma prepared from blood collected into an anticoagulant composed of EDTA, prostaglandin E1, and theophylline solution contained 22.4 ng LA-PF4 and 8.0 ng PF4. Concentrations of these two platelet-specific proteins in monkeys closely resembled levels found in human platelets and plasma. Infusion of prostacyclin (PGI2) (100 or 300 ng/kg/min) into monkeys for 15 min resulted in a significant decrease of plasma levels of LA-PF4 antigen and of PF4 by 40%--60% (p < 0.0001). This decrease was related to the inhibitory effect of PGI2 on the secretion of platelets stimulated by a catheter or by venipuncture. Longer infusion of PGI2 did not produce further significant change. The supernate obtained after aggregation of human platelets stimulated by thrombin was injected into monkeys receiving PGI2 infusion. The disappearance of LA-PF4 antigen in monkey plasma followed a biphasic exponential curve with half-lives for the fast and slow components of 8.4 and 63 min. PF4 disappeared faster but followed the same pattern (half-lives for the fast and slow component of 2.1 and 70 min). Analysis of the experimental data suggests that the low levels of secreted platelet proteins in monkey plasma are related to their minimal in vivo release and to their rapid clearance.

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