A novel flow cytometry assay using dihydroethidium as redox-sensitive probe reveals NADPH oxidase-dependent generation of superoxide anion in human platelets exposed to amyloid peptide β

Aisha Alsheikh Abubaker, Dina Vara, Ian Eggleston, Ilaria Canobbio, Giordano Pula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation is critical in the regulation of platelets, which has important implications in the modulation of hemostasis and thrombosis. Nonetheless, despite several assays have been described and successfully utilized in the past, the analysis of ROS generation in human platelets remains challenging. Here we show that dihydroethidium (DHE) allows the characterization of redox responses upon platelet activation by physiological and pathological stimuli. In particular, the flow cytometry assay that we describe here allowed us to confirm that thrombin, collagen-related peptide (CRP) and arachidonic acid but not adenosine diphosphate (ADP) stimulate superoxide anion formation in a concentration-dependent manner. 0.1unit/ml thrombin, 3 μg/ml CRP and 30 μM arachidonic acid are commonly used to stimulate platelets in vitro and here were shown to stimulate a significant increase in superoxide anion formation. The ROS scavenger N-acetylcysteine (NAC) abolished superoxide anion generation in response to all tested stimuli, but the pan-NADPH oxidase (NOX) inhibitor VAS2870 only inhibited superoxide anion formation in response to thrombin and CRP. The involvement of NOXs in thrombin and CRP-dependent responses was confirmed by the inhibition of platelet aggregation induced by these stimuli by VAS2870, while platelet aggregation in response to arachidonic acid was insensitive to this inhibitor. In addition, the pathological platelet stimulus amyloid β (Aβ) 1–42 peptide induced superoxide anion formation in a concentration-dependent manner. Aβ peptide stimulated superoxide anion formation in a NOX-dependent manner, as proved by the use of VAS2870. Aβ 1–42 peptide displayed only moderate activity as an aggregation stimulus, but was able to significantly potentiate platelet aggregation in response to submaximal agonists concentrations, such as 0.03 unit/ml thrombin and 10 μM arachidonic acid. The inhibition of NOXs by 10 μM VAS2870 abolished Aβ-dependent potentiation of platelet aggregation in response to 10 μM arachidonic acid, suggesting that the pro-thrombotic activity of Aβ peptides depends on NOX activity. Similar experiments could not be performed with thrombin or collagen, as NOXs are required for the signaling induced by these stimuli. These findings shed some new light on the pro-thrombotic activity of Aβ peptides. In summary, here we describe a novel and reliable assay for the detection of superoxide anion in human platelets. This is particularly important for the investigation of the pathophysiological role of redox stress in platelets, a field of research of increasing importance, but hindered by the absence of a reliable and easily accessible ROS detection methodology applicable to platelets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalPlatelets
Early online date5 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • Amyloid peptide β
  • NADPH
  • NOX
  • Platelet
  • redox
  • superoxide anion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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