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      Platelet Kinetics in the Pulmonary Microcirculation in vivo Assessed by Intravital Microscopy


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          Growing evidence supports the substantial pathophysiological impact of platelets on the development of acute lung injury. Methods for studying these cellular mechanisms in vivo are not present yet. The aim of this study was to develop a model enabling the quantitative analysis of platelet kinetics and platelet-endothelium interaction within consecutive segments of the pulmonary microcirculation in vivo. New Zealand White rabbits were anesthetized and ventilated. Autologous platelets were separated from blood and labeled ex vivo with rhodamine 6G. After implantation of a thoracic window, microhemodynamics and kinetics of platelets were investigated by intravital microscopy. Velocities of red blood cells (RBCs) and platelets were measured in arterioles, capillaries and venules, and the number of platelets adhering to the microvascular endothelium was counted. Kinetics of unstimulated platelets was compared with kinetics of thrombin-activated platelets. Velocity of unstimulated platelets was comparable to RBC velocity in all vessel segments. Unstimulated platelets passed the pulmonary microcirculation without substantial platelet-endothelial interaction. In contrast, velocity of activated platelets was decreased in all vascular segments indicating platelet margination and temporal platelet-endothelium interaction. Thrombin-activated platelets adhered to arteriolar endothelium; in capillaries and venules adherence of platelets was increased 8-fold and 13-fold, respectively. In conclusion, using intravital microscopy platelet kinetics were directly analyzed in the pulmonary microcirculation in vivo for the first time. In contrast to leukocytes, no substantial platelet-endothelium interaction occurs in the pulmonary microcirculation without any further stimulus. In response to platelet activation, molecular mechanisms enable adhesion of platelets in arterioles and venules as well as retention of platelets within capillaries.

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          Quantitative analysis of small intestinal microcirculation in the mouse.

          Impairment of intestinal nutritive perfusion and accumulation of inflammatory cells in the intestinal microvasculature are well-known sequelae of mesenteric ischemia/reperfusion, sepsis, and shock. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these alterations are still not fully understood. The mouse is particularly suitable for the study of these mechanisms since in this species the involvement of, for example, adhesion receptors or pro-/anti-adhesive mediators can be selectively investigated by the use of monoclonal antibodies or gene-targeted strains. The aim of our present study was, therefore, to establish a model to investigate the microcirculation in the mouse small intestine. Under anesthesia by inhalation of isoflurane-N2O, Balb/c mice (n = 16) were laparotomized, and a segment of the jejunum was exteriorized for intrvital fluorescence microscopy. Using FITC-dextran (MW 150,000) as a plasma marker, functional capillary density (FCD) of both the intestinal mucosa and muscle layer was analyzed. Nutritive perfusion was homogeneous in both compartments with values for FCD of 512 +/- 15 cm-1 in mucosa and 226 +/- 21 cm-1 in the muscle layer. No significant changes were observed throughout the observation period of 2 h (FCD values at the end of the observation period: 524 +/- 31 cm-1 and 207 +/- 7 cm-1 in mucosa and muscle, respectively). Besides capillary perfusion, leukocyte-endothelial cell interaction was analyzed in postcapillary venules of the intestinal submucosa using rhodamine-6G as an in vivo leukocyte stain. Under physiological conditions only a few white blood cells were found rolling along or firmly adherent to the microvascular endothelium (number of rolling leukocytes 1 +/- 0.2 cells/mm per second; number of adherent leukocytes: 18 +/- 7 cells/mm2). In a separate group rhodamine-6G-labeled syngeneic platelets were infused to analyze platelet-endothelial cell interactions quantitatively in vivo. Platelets rolled along or attached to the endothelium in a manner similar to leukocytes. However, in contrast to leukocytes the interactions were not restricted to venules, but were also observed in small arterioles. The newly established model allows for the visualization and quantitative assessment of both nutritive perfusion and platelet/leukocytendothelial cell interactions within the distinct layers of the mouse small intestine. Using this model in combination with gene-targeted mice or monoclonal antibodies it is possible to investigate the molecular mechanisms of intestinal inflammation reactions.
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            The signal transduction induced by thrombin in human platelets


              Author and article information

              J Vasc Res
              Journal of Vascular Research
              S. Karger AG
              August 2002
              12 August 2002
              : 39
              : 4
              : 330-339
              aInstitute for Surgical Research, bDepartment of Anesthesiology, Klinikum Grosshadern, Ludwig Maximilians University, and cFirst Department of Internal Medicine, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Technical University, Munich, Germany
              65545 J Vasc Res 2002;39:330–339
              © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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              Page count
              Figures: 5, Tables: 3, References: 27, Pages: 10
              Research Paper


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