Supramaximal calcium signaling triggers procoagulant platelet formation

Nima Abbasian, Sarah L Millington-Burgess, Shirom Chabra, Jean-Daniel Malcor, Matthew T Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Procoagulant platelets promote thrombin generation during thrombosis. Platelets become procoagulant in an all-or-nothing manner. We investigated how distinct Ca2+ signaling between platelet subpopulations commits some platelets to become procoagulant, using the high-affinity Ca2+ indicator Fluo-4, which may become saturated during platelet stimulation, or low-affinity Fluo-5N, which reports only very high cytosolic Ca2+ concentrations. All activated platelets had high Fluo-4 fluorescence. However, in Fluo-5N-loaded platelets, only the procoagulant platelets had high fluorescence, indicating very high cytosolic Ca2+. This finding indicates a novel, "supramaximal" Ca2+ signal in procoagulant platelets (ie, much higher than normally considered maximal). Supramaximal Ca2+ signaling and the percentage of procoagulant platelets were inhibited by cyclosporin A, a mitochondrial permeability transition pore blocker, and Ru360, an inhibitor of the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter, with no effect on Fluo-4 fluorescence. In contrast, Synta-66, an Orai1 blocker, reduced Fluo-4 fluorescence but did not directly inhibit generation of the supramaximal Ca2+ signal. Our findings show a distinct pattern of Ca2+ signaling in procoagulant platelets and provide a new framework to interpret the role of platelet signaling pathways in procoagulant platelets. This requires reassessment of the role of different Ca2+ channels and may provide new targets to prevent formation of procoagulant platelets and limit thrombosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-164
Number of pages11
JournalBlood advances
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2020


  • Blood Platelets/metabolism
  • Calcium/metabolism
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Cytosol/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Thrombin/metabolism


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