2 June 2003
Using a laser-induced endothelial injury model, we examined thrombus formation in the microcirculation of wild-type and genetically altered mice by real-time in vivo microscopy to analyze this complex physiologic process in a system that includes the vessel wall, the presence of flowing blood, and the absence of anticoagulants. We observe P-selectin expression, tissue factor accumulation, and fibrin generation after platelet localization in the developing thrombus in arterioles of wild-type mice. However, mice lacking P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1 (PSGL-1) or P-selectin, or wild-type mice infused with blocking P-selectin antibodies, developed platelet thrombi containing minimal tissue factor and fibrin. To explore the delivery of tissue factor into a developing thrombus, we identified monocyte-derived microparticles in human platelet–poor plasma that express tissue factor, PSGL-1, and CD14. Fluorescently labeled mouse microparticles infused into a recipient mouse localized within the developing thrombus, indicating that one pathway for the initiation of blood coagulation in vivo involves the accumulation of tissue factor– and PSGL-1–containing microparticles in the platelet thrombus expressing P-selectin. These monocyte-derived microparticles bind to activated platelets in an interaction mediated by platelet P-selectin and microparticle PSGL-1. We propose that PSGL-1 plays a role in blood coagulation in addition to its known role in leukocyte trafficking.