Increased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) promote platelet activation. The sources of platelet-derived ROS are diverse and whether or not mitochondrial derived ROS, modulates platelet function is incompletely understood. Studies of platelets from patients with sickle cell disease, and diabetes suggest a correlation between mitochondrial ROS and platelet dysfunction. Therefore, we generated mice with a platelet specific knockout of superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2-KO) to determine if increased mitochondrial ROS increases platelet activation. SOD2-KO platelets demonstrated decreased SOD2 activity and increased mitochondrial ROS, however total platelet ROS was unchanged. Mitochondrial function and content were maintained in non-stimulated platelets. However SOD2-KO platelets demonstrated decreased mitochondrial function following thrombin stimulation. In vitro platelet activation and spreading was normal and in vivo, deletion of SOD2 did not change tail-bleeding or arterial thrombosis indices. In pathophysiological models mediated by platelet-dependent immune mechanisms such as sepsis and autoimmune inflammatory arthritis, SOD2-KO mice were phenotypically identical to wildtype controls. These data demonstrate that increased mitochondrial ROS does not result in platelet dysfunction.
Keywords: ROS; Thrombosis; mitochondria; platelet physiology.