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.
- Blood Platelets/metabolism
- Calcium Signaling