Selective PF4 release in vitro induced by heparin and related glycosaminoglycans (GAGs)--correlation with beta-TG release and platelet aggregation

Thromb Haemost. 1984 Feb 28;51(1):105-7.


We studied human platelet aggregation and beta-TG/PF4 release induced by heparin and related GAGs in vitro both in normal PRP and in PRP after aspirin. In our experimental conditions, heparin and related GAGs always caused PF4 release in vitro from normal platelets, whether or not there was measurable platelet aggregation in the aggregometer. Significant beta-TG release was induced only by the mucosal heparin preparation (which also induced platelet aggregation in some citrated PRP). Therefore, while beta-TG release in vitro seems to correlate with platelet aggregating activity of heparin, the selective PF4 release, caused by heparin and related GAGs also in conditions in which neither platelet aggregation nor beta-TG are measurable, is probably associated with the high affinity of PF4 for heparin. The degree of affinity of GAGs for PF4 (heparin greater than DeS greater than HS) seems to correlate with PF4 release. Moreover, the significant reduction in PF4 release in vitro after aspirin suggests that GAGs-induced PF4 release is related to a cyclooxygenase-dependent activation process.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Diphosphate / pharmacology
  • Adult
  • Aspirin / metabolism
  • Beta-Globulins / metabolism*
  • Glycosaminoglycans / pharmacology*
  • Heparin / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Platelet Aggregation / drug effects*
  • Platelet Factor 4 / metabolism*
  • beta-Thromboglobulin / metabolism*


  • Beta-Globulins
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • beta-Thromboglobulin
  • Platelet Factor 4
  • Adenosine Diphosphate
  • Heparin
  • Aspirin