Thrombin-induced calcium movements in platelet activation

Wenche Jy, Duncan H. Haynes

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40 Scopus citations


The thrombin-induced Ca2+ fluxes and their coupling to platelet aggregation of the human platelet were studied using quin2 as a measure of the cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]cyt) and chlorotetracycline (CTC) as a measure of internally sequestered Ca2+. Evidence is given that the CTC fluorescence change is proportional to the free internal Ca2+ concentration in the dense tubular lumen. The intracellular quin2 concentration was 1 mM and analysis showed that it did not perturb the processes reported herein. The value of [Ca2+]cyt at rest and during thrombin activation was analyzed in terms of Ca2+ influx, Ca2+ release, Ca2+ sequestration, and Ca2+ extrusion. Influx was distinguished from internal release by removing extracellular Ca2+ 1 min before thrombin activation. In the presence of 2 mM external Ca2+, the thrombin-induced Ca2+ influx accounts for most of the increase in [Ca2+]cyt (over 80%). Thrombin-induced Ca2+ influx and release have somewhat different EC50 values (0.17 U/ml vs. 0.35 U/ml). The contribution of influx can be inhibited by verapamil, bepridil and Cd2+ (IC50 values of 19 μM, 2 μM and 50 μM). The influx results were analyzed in terms of a thrombin-activated channel. Indomethacin pretreatment experiments suggest that activation of the arachidonic pathway accounts for approx. 50% of the influx-related [Ca2+]cyt elevation. Elevation of [Ca2+]cyt by intracellular release is not inhibited by verapamil or Cd2+ but is inhibited by bepridil with a high IC50 (25 μM). It is only 15-20% inhibited by indomethacin and is thus not dependent on thromboxane A2 formation. The release reaction does not require Ca2+ influx. The rate of thrombin-activated platelet aggregation is shown to have an approximately fourth-power dependence on [Ca2+]cyt with an apparent Km of 0.4 μM. Comparisons of aggregation rates of the partially thrombin-activated vs. fully thrombin-activated, partially verapamil-inhibited conditions suggest that this dependence on [Ca2+]cyt is the major determinant of the aggregation behavior. Analysis shows that calcium influx is the major pathway for elevating [Ca2+]cyt by thrombin when physiological concentrations of external Ca2+ are present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-102
Number of pages15
JournalBBA - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 15 1987


  • Calcium channel blocker
  • Calcium ion release
  • Chlorotetracycline
  • Platelet activation
  • Quin2
  • Thrombin, Calcium ion influx

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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