In previous studies, it has been suggested that chilling induced activation of human platelets is related to a lipid phase transition seen in membrane lipids. Those studies showed a single, surprisingly cooperative transition in human platelets, as determined by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, findings that are confirmed here with calorimetric measurements. Such transitions have now been studied in membrane fractions obtained from the platelets and it is reported that all fractions and purified phospholipids show similar transitions. In order to obtain these data it was necessary to develop means for separating these fractions. Therefore, a novel method for isolation and separation of dense tubular system (DTS) and plasma membranes in human platelets is described here. Lipid analysis showed that phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) were the dominant phospholipids in both fractions, whereas cholesterol and sphingomyelin (SM) were predominantly located in the plasma membranes. Thermotropic phase transitions in the two membrane fractions, determined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and FTIR spectroscopy were found to occur at about 15°C, similar to the T(m) of intact human platelets. These data are discussed in relation to the role of the DTS and plasma membranes in the cold-induced activation of human platelets.
- Dense tubular system membranes
- Plasma membranes
- Thermal phase transition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology