Bacterial infection may increase risk for thrombosis and atherosclerosis. Human platelets express toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), the receptor for gram-negative bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Experiments were designed to evaluate direct, acute effects of TLR4 activation on aggregation, secretion, and generation of prothrombogenic microparticles in vitro on platelets derived from healthy women at risk for development of cardiovascular disease because of their hormonal status. Platelet-rich plasma from recently menopausal women was incubated with ultrapure Escherichia coli LPS in the absence or presence of antibodies that neutralize the human TLR4. Incubating platelets with LPS (100 ng/mL) for 5 minutes decreased aggregation and dense granule adenosine triphosphate secretion induced by thrombin receptor agonist peptide (TRAP) but not by adenosine diphosphate or collagen. The antibody to TLR4 blocked this effect of LPS. TLR4 activation increased phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and decreased production of prothrombotic phosphatidylserine and P-selectin-positive microparticles in response to TRAP. Therefore, acute, direct activation of TLR4 reduces platelet reactivity to TRAP stimulation in vitro. Increased thrombotic and cardiovascular risk with bacterial infection most likely reflects the sum of TLR4 activation on other blood and vascular cells to release proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines, which indirectly affect platelet reactivity.
- ATP secretion
- Innate immunity
- Thrombin receptor agonist peptide
- Thrombotic risk
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine