Platelet activation in experimental murine neonatal pulmonary hypertension

Pavel Davizon-Castillo, Ayed Allawzi, Matthew Sorrells, Susan Fisher, Kristina Baltrunaite, Keith Neeves, Eva Nozik-Grayck, Jorge DiPaola, Cassidy Delaney

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3 Scopus citations


Serotonin (5-HT) contributes to the pathogenesis of experimental neonatal pulmonary hypertension (PH) associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Platelets are the primary source of circulating 5-HT and is released upon platelet activation. Platelet transfusions are associated with neonatal mortality and increased rates of BPD. As BPD is often complicated by PH, we tested the hypothesis that circulating platelets are activated and also increased in the lungs of neonatal mice with bleomycin-induced PH associated with BPD. Newborn wild-type mice received intraperitoneal bleomycin (3 units/kg) three times weekly for 3 weeks. Platelets from mice with experimental PH exhibited increased adhesion to collagen under flow (at 300 s−1 and 1,500 s−1) and increased expression of the αIIbβ3 integrin and phosphatidylserine, markers of platelet activation. Platelet-derived factors 5-HT and platelet factor 4 were increased in plasma from mice with experimental PH. Pharmacologic blockade of the 5-HT 2A receptor (5-HT 2A R) prevents bleomycin-induced PH and pulmonary vascular remodeling. Here, platelets from mice with bleomycin-induced PH demonstrate increased 5-HT 2A R expression providing further evidence of both platelet activation and increased 5-HT signaling in this model. In addition, bleomycin treatment increased lung platelet accumulation. In summary, platelets are activated, granule factors are released, and are increased in numbers in the lungs of mice with experimental neonatal PH. These results suggest platelet activation and release of platelet-derived factors may increase vascular tone, promote aberrant angiogenesis, and contribute to the development of neonatal PH.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14386
JournalPhysiological Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • neonate
  • platelets
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • serotonin


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