Plasmin inhibition of platelet function and of arachidonic acid metabolism.


Schafer AI, Adelman B




J Clin Invest


To study interactions between platelets and the fibrinolytic system, we examined the effects of human plasmin on human platelets washed by gel filtration. Plasmin concentrations that did not affect platelet shape change, release, or aggregation (less than 1.0 caseinolytic units [CU]/ml) caused a dose- and time-dependent inhibition of platelet aggregation in response to thrombin, ionophore A23187, and collagen. Complete loss of aggregation occurred at 0.1-0.5 CU/ml of plasmin. In a parallel dose-dependent manner, plasmin likewise inhibited thrombin, ionophore, and collagen-stimulated thromboxane B2 production. In contrast, neither aggregation nor thromboxane B2 formation induced by arachidonate was inhibited by plasmin pretreatment of the platelets. Plasmin blocked the thrombin-induced release of [3H]arachidonic acid from platelet membrane phospholipids and the thrombin-induced platelet oxygen burst. However, plasmin did not inhibit the arachidonate-induced oxygen burst. Inhibition of arachidonic acid release by plasmin was not mediated by increase in platelet cyclic AMP. These results suggest that plasmin inhibits platelet function, at least in part, by blocking the mobilization of arachidonic acid from membrane phospholipid pools. The effects of plasmin on platelets may contribute to the hemostatic abnormalities seen in pathologic and pharmacologic fibrinolysis.