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BACKGROUND: The different production methods for platelet concentrates (PCs) result in products with variable in vitro quality and in vivo viability. The aim of this study was to compare in vitro variables of PCs produced by apheresis (AP-PC) or the buffy coat (BC-PC) method by applying a number of new and established assays.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Standard TRIMA Accel (Gambro BCT) AP-PCs (n = 20) and BC-PCs (n = 20) were stored in 100 percent plasma and changes in mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) were assessed using 5,5′,6,6′-tetrachloro-1,1′,3,3′-tetraethlybenzimidazolcarbocyanine iodide (JC-1) dye on Days 1, 3, 5, and 7. The capacity of platelets (PLTs) for oxidative phosphorylation was also monitored by measuring oxygen consumption using a Clark-type electrode. PLT viability was measured using a new assay that utilizes the vital stains calcein-AM and FM4-64. Expression of phosphatidylserine (PS), CD42b, CD47, CD61, and CD62P was also assessed.

RESULTS: Although the JC-1 ratio (FL2/FL1) decreased significantly in both preparations, the percentage of PLTs with depolarized ΔΨm increased significantly in BC-PCs but not in AP-PCs. However, no significant change was detected in the PLTs' ability to consume oxygen in both preparations. PLTs in BC-PCs also showed significantly lower GPIb, CD47, and CD61 expression than AP-PCs on Day 1. PLTs in both preparations, however, showed a similar increase in CD62P and PS expression during storage, without significant loss of viability.

CONCLUSIONS: PLTs in AP-PCs and BC-PCs undergo different degrees of deterioration in mitochondrial integrity and thus may undergo different degrees of apoptosis. Interventions that maintain mitochondrial integrity may improve PLT viability in vitro.