Histone-stimulated platelet adhesion to mouse cremaster venules in vivo is dependent on von Willebrand factor

Microcirculation. 2022 Nov;29(8):e12782. doi: 10.1111/micc.12782. Epub 2022 Sep 22.


Objective: Extracellular histones are known mediators of platelet activation, inflammation, and thrombosis. Von Willebrand Factor (vWF) and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) have been implicated in pro-inflammatory and prothrombotic histone responses. The objective of this study was to assess the role of vWF and TLR4 on histone-induced platelet adhesion in vivo.

Methods: Intravital microscopy of the mouse cremaster microcirculation, in the presence of extracellular histones or saline control, was conducted in wild-type, vWF-deficient, and TLR4-deficient mice to assess histone-mediated platelet adhesion. Platelet counts following extracellular histone exposure were conducted. Platelets were isolated from vWF-deficient mice and littermates to assess the role of vWF on histone-induced platelet aggregation.

Results: Histones promoted platelet adhesion to cremaster venules in vivo in wild-type animals, as well as in TLR4-deficient mice to a comparable degree. Histones did not lead to increased platelet adhesion in vWF-deficient mice, in contrast to littermate controls. In all genotypes, histones resulted in thrombocytopenia. Histone-induced platelet aggregation ex vivo was similar in vWF-deficient mice and littermate controls.

Conclusions: Histone-induced platelet adhesion to microvessels in vivo is vWF-dependent and TLR4-independent. Platelet-derived vWF was not necessary for histone-induced platelet aggregation ex vivo. These data are consistent with the notion that endothelial vWF, rather than platelet vWF, mediates histone-induced platelet adhesion in vivo.

Keywords: TLR4; adherence; aggregation; cremaster; histones; microvessel; platelets; toll-like receptor 4; vWF; von Willebrand factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets
  • Histones*
  • Mice
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Venules
  • von Willebrand Factor*


  • von Willebrand Factor
  • Histones
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4