Abstract

Von Willebrand factor (vWF) has been implicated to function as a cofactor in platelet aggregation induced by thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) plasma. To investigate further this role of vWF, we have used rabbit monospecific anti-FVIII/vWF antibodies and a monoclonal antibody to platelet glycoprotein Ib (GP Ib) that blocks the ristocetin- induced platelet aggregation. The monoclonal anti-platelet GP Ib antibody inhibited the platelet aggregation induced by ristocetin in the presence of normal plasma, but not that by any of the five TTP plasma samples. The TTP plasma samples from five patients were incubated with the monospecific antibodies to FVIII/vWF. In all of the samples, the FVIII/vWF:Ag was drastically reduced; however, there was almost no effect on the platelet-aggregating activity. Therefore, it is concluded that vWF is unlikely to play a major role in platelet aggregation induced by majority of TTP plasmas and that the site of platelet GP Ib, to which vWF binds in the presence of ristocetin, is not involved in TTP plasma-induced aggregation.

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