Phosphorylation of Vasodilator-Stimulated Phosphoprotein Prevents Platelet-Neutrophil Complex Formation and Dampens Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury
Background—Recent work has suggested that the formation of platelet-neutrophil complexes (PNCs) aggravates the severity of inflammatory tissue injury. Given the importance of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) for platelet function, we pursued the role of VASP on the formation of PNCs and its impact on the extent of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury.
Methods and Results—In initial in vitro studies we found that neutrophils facilitated the movement of platelets across endothelial monolayers. Phosphorylation of VASP reduced the formation of PNCs and transendothelial movement of PNCs. During myocardial IR injury, VASP−/− animals demonstrated reduced intravascular formation of PNCs and reduced presence of PNCs within the ischemic myocardial tissue. This was associated with reduced IR injury. Studies using platelet transfer and bone marrow chimeric animals showed that hematopoietic VASP expression was crucial for the intravascular formation of PNCs the presence of PNCs within ischemic myocardial tissue and the extent of myocardial IR injury. Furthermore, phosphorylation of VASP on Ser153 or Ser235 reduced intravascular PNC formation and presence of PNCs within ischemic myocardial tissue. This finding was associated with reduced myocardial IR injury.
Conclusion—Previously unappreciated, the phosphorylation of VASP performs a key function for the formation of PNCs that is crucially important for the extent of myocardial IR injury.
- vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein
- ischemia-reperfusion injury
- myocardial infarction
- Received December 16, 2010.
- Accepted March 29, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.