Hubs and Webs in Platelet Intracellular Signalling
In this issue of Systems Biology and Physiology Reports A.A. Martyanov and M.A. Panteleev suggested a review on platelet intracellular signalling network, which is a second part in the discussion on the molecular relationships between platelet activation and responses . The review contains seven thousands words and two hundred references and yet it is not complete, as there are still unclear parts in platelet signalling, especially in its inhibition [2-4]. In an effort to comprehend the platelet activation pattern, I drew a signalling scheme based on the review and data from other authors [2, 3].
Platelet functional responses and signalling: the molecular relationship. Part 2: receptors.
Small, non-nuclear cells, platelets, are primarily designed to form aggregates when blood vessels are damaged, stopping bleeding. To perform this function, platelets can implement several functional responses induced by various agonists and coordinated by a complex network of intracellular signaling triggered by a dozen of different receptors. This review, the second in a series, describes the known intracellular signaling pathways induced by platelet receptors in response to canonical and rare agonists. Particular focus will be on interaction points and “synergy” of platelet activation pathways and intermediate or “secondary” activation mediators that transmit a signal to functional manifestations.
Overview of the neutralizing antibody and memory B cell response kinetics in SARS-CoV-2 convalescent and/or mRNA vaccinated individuals.
COVID-19 pandemics triggered by the SARS-CoV-2 virus have caused millions of deaths worldwide and have led to expedited developments of various effective vaccines that, if administered, could prevent and/or circumvent the infection and reduce the death toll. Since the start of the pandemics multiple research groups around the world have been involved in the analysis of immune responses of various human cohorts to the SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccines. Now, over 1.5 years later, the scientific community has accumulated extensive data about both the development of an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 following infection, as well as its rate of fading off. Kinetic analysis of the immune response generated by vaccines is also emerging, enabling the possibility of making comparisons and predictions. In this review we will focus on the comparing B cell and antibody immune responses to the SARS-CoV-2 infection as opposed to mRNA vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein, which have been utilized to immunize hundreds of millions of people and analyzed in multiple studies.
A minimal mathematical model of neutrophil pseudopodium formation during chemotaxis
The directed movement of neutrophils is provided by the rapid polymerization of actin with the formation of a protrusion growing forward. In our previous work we observed impaired neutrophil movement for patients with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) compared to healthy donors.
In this work, we set out to explain the impairment of neutrophil chemotaxis in patients by observation and computer modeling of the linear growth rates of the anterior pseudopodia. The neutrophil chemotaxis was observed by means of low-angle fluorescent microscopy in parallel-plate flow chambers. The computational model was constructed as a network-like 2D stochastic polymerization of actin guided by the proximity of cell membrane with branching governed by Arp2/3 and WASP proteins.
The observed linear velocity of neutrophil pseudopodium formation was 0.22 ± 0.04 μm/s for healthy donors and 0.23 ± 0.08 μm/s for WAS patients. The model described the velocity of the pseudopodium formation for healthy donors well. For the description of WAS patients data, a variation of branching velocity (governed by WASP) by an order of magnitude was applied, which did not significantly alter the linear protrusion growth velocity.
We conclude that the proposed mathematical model of neutrophil pseudopodium formation could describe the experimental data well, but the data on overall neutrophil movement could not be explained by the velocities of the pseudopodium growth.
Presence of PI-rich vesicles is required for the PLC ζ activation according to mathematical modeling
Phospholipase C ζ (PLCζ) is an enzyme found in the cytoplasm and acrosome of mammalian spermatozoa. It catalyzes the reaction of phosphatidylinositol-4,5-phosphate hydrolysis into inositol-3-phosphate and diacylglycerol. PLCζ is present in the sperm cell acrosome and cytosol but doesn’t significantly affect its metabolism. However, after the fusion of sperm and egg membranes, its activity increases as it begins to bind membranes of the egg. It is unknown why PLCζ is inactive in spermatozoa or any type of somatic cell.
In this work, the modeling approach explains the reasons for the absence of PLCζ activity in any type of mammalian cells but eggs. A model describing the activity of PLCζ in physiological calcium concentrations was developed. It was shown that the presence of phosphoinositide-rich vesicles is required for the PLC ζ activity in mature mammalian eggs.
A strong correlation exists between platelet consumption and platelet hyperactivation in COVID-19 patients. Pilot study of the patient cohort from CCH RAS Hospital (Troitsk).
It is known that in COVID-19, hypercoagulation and sometimes thrombocytopenia are related to disease severity. There is also controversial data on platelet participation in COVID-19 pathology. We aimed to determine the degree of platelet hyperactivation in COVID-19 patients. Whole blood flow cytometry with Annexin-V and lactadherin staining ("PS+ platelets") was utilized. Additionally, a stochastic mathematical model of platelet production and consumption was developed. Here we demonstrated that the percentage of PS+ platelets in COVID-19 patients was twofold that of healthy donors. There was a significant correlation between the amount of PS+ platelets and the percentage of lung damage in patients. No connection was found between platelet senescence and hospital therapy or patients' chronic diseases, except for chronic lung disease. Although no thrombocytopenia was observed in patients, the observed increase in platelet size (FSC-A parameter in flow cytometry) could indicate that platelet age is decreased in patients. The developed computational model of platelet turnover confirms the possibility of intense platelet consumption without noticeable changes in platelet count. We conclude that the observed platelet hyperactivation in COVID-19 could be caused by platelet activation in circulation, leading to platelet consumption without significant thrombocytopenia.
STIM1-ORAI1 direct interaction cannot govern store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) in platelets
Store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) plays an important role in platelet function. It is generally assumed that the mechanism of SOCE relies on the direct interaction of STIM1 and ORAI1 proteins with specific STIM1:ORAI1 stoichiometry. However, in platelets, other pathways may take place. Here we aim to investigate the mechanisms of SOCE in platelets. We developed a lattice-based mathematical model that represented STIM1-ORAI1 interactions and applied it to both HEK cells, where SOCE mechanism is well established, and platelets. The model was able to describe STIM1-ORAI1 behavior in HEK cells successfully. We used the same parameters for protein interaction and applied them to platelets. As a result, we demonstrated that the number of STIM1 proteins on ER membrane could not assure the needed stoichiometry to proper SOCE in platelets.
In vitro models of thrombosis and hemostasis
Abnormalities in hemostatic response are responsible for a large number of life-threatening conditions, however, despite many decades of research, today there are no reliable ways to correct hemostasis without significant risks of thrombosis or bleeding. This situation reflects a poor understanding of the key mechanisms that regulate the hemostatic response. To uncover the principles underlying the regulation of hemostasis, both experimental models and theoretical approaches are actively used. This review focuses on current in vitro models of thrombosis and hemostasis and describes key approaches and tools for studying blood coagulation outside the human/animal body. To reconstruct this process, both microfluidic technologies and approaches based on manufacturing artificial vessels using a variety of hydrogels are actively used. In vitro models of thrombosis traditionally mimic non-penetrating damage to the vessel wall and have been used for more than 30 years to uncover the key processes responsible for the formation of arterial thrombi. Models of in vitro hemostasis have been actively developed only in recent years and are focused ono crucial mechanisms governing the formation of hemostatic plugs - clots that stop bleeding upon a penetrating vascular injury. Modern in vitro models of thrombosis and hemostasis are used not only as tools for fundamental research but are also introduced into clinical practice.