Objective: Platelet reactivity, platelet binding to monocytes and monocyte infiltration play a detrimental role in atherosclerotic plaque progression. We investigated whether platelet reactivity was associated with levels of circulating platelet-monocyte complexes (PMCs) and macrophages in human atherosclerotic carotid plaques. Methods: Platelet reactivity was determined by measuring platelet P-selectin expression after platelet stimulation with increasing concentrations of adenosine diphosphate (ADP), in two independent cohorts: the Circulating Cells cohort (n = 244) and the Athero-Express cohort (n = 91). Levels of PMCs were assessed by flow cytometry in blood samples of patients who were scheduled for percutaneous coronary intervention (Circulating Cells cohort). Monocyte infiltration was semi-quantitatively determined by histological examination of atherosclerotic carotid plaques collected during carotid endarterectomy (Athero-Express cohort). Results: We found increased platelet reactivity in patients with high PMCs as compared to patients with low PMCs (median (interquartile range): 4153 (1585-11267) area under the curve (AUC) vs. 9633 (3580-21565) AUC, P<0.001). Also, we observed increased platelet reactivity in patients with high macrophage levels in atherosclerotic plaques as compared to patients with low macrophage levels in atherosclerotic plaques (mean±SD; 8969±3485 AUC vs. 7020±3442 AUC, P = 0.02). All associations remained significant after adjustment for age, sex and use of drugs against platelet activation. Conclusion: Platelet reactivity towards ADP is associated with levels of PMCs and macrophages in human atherosclerotic carotid plaques.

doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0105019, hdl.handle.net/1765/84291
PLoS ONE
Department of Bioinformatics

Rutten, B., Tersteeg, C., Vrijenhoek, J. E., Van Holten, T. C., Elsenberg, E. H. A. M., Mak-Nienhuis, E. M., … Roest, M. (2014). Increased platelet reactivity is associated with circulating platelet-monocyte complexes and macrophages in human atherosclerotic plaques. PLoS ONE, 9(8). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105019