Expression of complement components and inhibitors on platelet microparticles

Wei Yin, Berhane Ghebrehiwet, Ellinor I.B. Peerschke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Platelet microparticles (PMP) are released from activated platelets and play an important role in hemostasis, thrombosis and inflammation. Since platelets were recently found to demonstrate an intrinsic capacity for activating both classical and alternative pathways of the complement system, the present study extended these observations to PMP. PMP were generated by treating platelets with 10 μM A23187 (37°C, 5 min). PMP were identified by flow cytometry, based on size, Annexin V binding, and expression of P-selectin and GPIIb (CD41). PMP expressed gC1qR/p33, a multifunctional cellular protein that was recently described to activate the classical complement cascade. PMP also expressed the classical pathway and contact system regulator, C1 inhibitor (C1-INH), as well as CD55 and CD59. Despite C1-INH expression, PMP supported classical pathway C4 activation in the presence of purified C1 and C4. Moreover, statistically significant deposition of C3b and C5b-9 was detected on PMP exposed to plasma, concurrently with expression of CD55 and CD59. These data provide the first evidence for the ability of PMP to support in situ complement activation. Complement activation contributes to a variety of vascular and inflammatory disease states including atherosclerosis and ischemia/reperfusion injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-233
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Complement
  • Microparticles
  • Platelets


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