Background: The transbilayer movement of phosphatidylserine mediates the platelet procoagulant activity during collagen stimulation. The Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase (ROCK) inhibitor Y-27632 inhibits senescence induced but not activation induced phosphatidylserine exposure. To investigate further the specific mechanisms, we now utilized mice with genetic deletion of the ROCK1 isoform.
Methods and results: ROCK1-deficient mouse platelets expose significantly more phosphatidylserine and generate more thrombin upon activation with collagen compared to wild-type platelets. There were no significant defects in platelet shape change, aggregation, or calcium response compared to wild-type platelets. Collagen-stimulated ROCK1-deficient platelets also displayed decreased phosphorylation levels of Lim Kinase-1 and cofilin-1. However, there was no reduction in phosphorylation levels of myosin phosphatase subunit-1 (MYPT1) or myosin light chain (MLC). In an in vivo light/dye-induced endothelial injury/thrombosis model, ROCK1-deficient mice presented a shorter occlusion time in cremasteric venules when compared to wild-type littermates (3.16 ± 1.33 min versus 6.6 ± 2.6 min; p = 0.01).
Conclusions: These studies define ROCK1 as a new regulator for collagen-induced phosphatidylserine exposure in platelets with functional consequences on thrombosis. This effect was downstream of calcium signaling and was mediated by Lim Kinase-1 / cofilin-1-induced cytoskeletal changes.