Mechanisms of platelet capture at very high shear
Wellings, Peter John
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Arterial thrombus forms from the capture and accumulation of circulating platelets on a stenosis. As the thrombus grows, the lumen becomes further stenotic producing very high shear rates as the blood velocities increase through the narrowed cross-section. This study explores the molecular binding conditions that may occur under these pathologic shear conditions where circulating platelets must adhere quickly and with strong bonds. Platelets binding in an arterial stenosis of >75% are subject to drag forces exceeding 10,000 pN. This force can be balanced by 100 simultaneous GPIb-vWFA1 bonds of 100 pN each. The number and density of GPIb on platelets is sufficiently high; however, platelet capture under high shear would require the density of A1 receptors to be increased to over 416 per square micron. A computational model is used to determine platelet capture as a function of shear rate, surface receptor density, surface contact and kinetic binding rate. A1 density could be increased by a combination of vWF events of: i) plasma vWF attach to the thrombus surface and elongate under shear; ii) the elongated vWF strands create a net with 3-D pockets; and iii) additional vWF is released from mural platelets by activation under shear. With all three events, A1 density matches the existing high GPIbα densities to provide sufficient multivalency for capture at 100,000 s-1 with greater than 170 bonds per platelet. If the on-rate is greater than 108 M-1s-1, then a platelet could be captured within 15 microseconds, the amount of time available to form bonds before the platelet is swept away. This mechanism of platelet capture allows for the rapid platelet accumulation in atherothombosis seen clinically and in high shear experiments.