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Paper Chase

Dual roles for hepatic lectin receptors in the clearance of chilled platelets.

Nat. Med.. 09 27, 2009;15(11):1273-80.
Rumjantseva V, Grewal PK, Wandall HH, Josefsson EC, Sørensen AL, Larson G, Marth JD, Hartwig JH, Hoffmeister KM.

Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Rapid chilling causes glycoprotein-Ib (GPIb) receptors to cluster on blood platelets. Hepatic macrophage beta(2) integrin binding to beta-N-acetylglucosamine (beta-GlcNAc) residues in the clusters leads to rapid clearance of acutely chilled platelets after transfusion. Although capping the beta-GlcNAc moieties by galactosylation prevents clearance of short-term-cooled platelets, this strategy is ineffective after prolonged refrigeration. We report here that prolonged refrigeration increased the density and concentration of exposed galactose residues on platelets such that hepatocytes, through Ashwell-Morell receptor binding, become increasingly involved in platelet removal. Macrophages rapidly removed a large fraction of transfused platelets independent of their storage conditions. With prolonged platelet chilling, hepatocyte-dependent clearance further diminishes platelet recovery and survival after transfusion. Inhibition of chilled platelet clearance by both beta(2) integrin and Ashwell-Morell receptors may afford a potentially simple method for storing platelets in the cold.