Whole Blood Analysis of Leukocyte-Platelet Aggregates

Curr Protoc Cytom. 2016 Oct 10;78:6.15.1-6.15.10. doi: 10.1002/cpcy.8.


In inflammatory and thrombotic syndromes, platelets aggregate with circulating leukocytes, especially monocytes and neutrophils. This leukocyte-platelet aggregate formation is initiated primarily through platelet surface expression of P-selectin (CD62P), following activation-dependent degranulation of α-granules, binding to its constitutively expressed counter-receptor, P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1 (PSGL-1), on leukocytes. Monocyte-platelet aggregates are a more sensitive marker of platelet activation than platelet surface P-selectin. Detection of leukocyte-platelet aggregates is relatively simple by whole-blood flow cytometry. Light scatter and at least one leukocyte-specific antibody are used to gate the desired population, and the presence of associated platelets is detected by immunostaining for abundant platelet-specific markers. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Keywords: P-selectin; PSGL-1; activation-dependent receptors; coronary artery disease; flow cytometry; leukocytes; platelets.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Specimen Collection / methods*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / cytology*
  • Platelet Aggregation*
  • Tissue Donors