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Keywords:

  • platelets;
  • lyophilization;
  • signalling;
  • kinase;
  • transfusion

This study aimed to evaluate the effect of cross-linking and lyophilization on intracellular signalling processes in rehydrated, lyophilized (RL) platelets, which are under development as a platelet substitute for transfusion. Exposure of RL platelets to thrombin resulted in enhanced phosphorylation of several proteins, including 18 kDa and 42 kDa kinase substrates that were shown to be the substrates of myosin light chain and protein kinase C respectively. Cross-linking and lyophilization depleted the platelets of free cytoplasmic ADP and ATP, but had less effect on protein-bound nucleotides. The surface membrane of RL platelets was found to be permeable to poly dT probes less than approximately 3 kDa in size; larger nucleotide probes and proteins did not penetrate the surface membrane. Taken together, our results indicate that RL platelets retain some of the haemostatic stimulus-response functions of fresh platelets and are capable of feedback amplification in coagulation.