Platelet association with leukocytes in active eosinophilic esophagitis

PLoS One. 2021 Apr 23;16(4):e0250521. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250521. eCollection 2021.


We previously demonstrated that the percentage of blood eosinophils that are associated with platelets and thus positive for CD41 (integrin αIIb-subunit) correlates with and predicts peak eosinophil count (PEC) in biopsies of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) patients after treatment. Thus, flow cytometric determination of CD41+ eosinophils is a potential measure of EoE disease activity. Determinants of association of platelets with eosinophils and other leukocytes in EoE are largely unknown. The objectives of this study were to test the hypotheses that platelets associate with blood leukocytes other than eosinophils in EoE and that such associations also predict EoE activity. Whole blood flow cytometry was performed on samples from 25 subjects before and after two months of standard of care EoE treatment. CD41 positivity of cells within gates for eosinophils, neutrophils, monocytes, lymphocytes, and natural killer cells was compared. We found that percent CD41+ neutrophils, monocytes, and eosinophils correlated with one another such that principal component analysis of the five cell types identified "myeloid" and "lymphoid" factors. Percent CD41+ neutrophils or monocytes, or the myeloid factor, like CD41+ eosinophils, correlated with PEC after treatment, and CD41+ neutrophils or the myeloid factor predicted PEC < 6/high power field after treatment, albeit with lower area under the curve than for CD41+ eosinophils. We conclude that the processes driving platelets to associate with eosinophils in EoE also drive association of platelets with neutrophils and monocytes and that association of platelets with all three cell types is related to disease activity. identifier: NCT02775045.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Blood Platelets / pathology
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis / blood*
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis / pathology
  • Eosinophils / metabolism
  • Eosinophils / pathology*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry*
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / metabolism
  • Killer Cells, Natural / pathology
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Leukocytes / pathology
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Male
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Monocytes / pathology
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / pathology
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoprotein IIb / genetics
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoprotein IIb / metabolism
  • Principal Component Analysis


  • Antibodies
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoprotein IIb

Associated data