Epidemiologic studies have shown that the neutrophil count correlates with the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke and identify patients more susceptible to reinfarction and in-hospital death. In particular, neutrophils action was initially associated to blood rheological changes, or to the effect of neutrophil-derived eicosanoids or proteases. Animal models indicate that platelet-leukocyte P-selectin dependent cross-talk contributes to fibrin deposition during in vivo thrombus formation. In fact, platelet P-selectin, through its leukocyte counter-receptor PSGL-1, determines the activation of leukocyte beta2 integrins, the binding of fibrinogen and the expression of tissue factor on leukocyte surface. Monocytes stimulated in vitro with LPS, PMA and P-selectin synthesize and express tissue factor, fMLP, P-selectin, TNFalpha and C5a are effective stimuli that trigger the synthesis and expression of biologically active tissue factor in neutrophils. The experimental evidence well agrees with clinical observations: patients with acute coronary syndromes, acute respiratory distress syndrome, antiphospholipid syndromes, giant cell arteritis and myeloproliferative syndromes have increased the expression of tissue factor on leukocyte surface. Moreover circulating neutrophils express mRNA codifying for full-length and/or alternatively spliced tissue factor, suggesting a new important link between thrombosis and inflammation. All together, clinical and experimental evidence suggest that the leukocyte thrombogenic profile is a relevant player in patients with a high risk of thromboembolic events and possibly represents a suitable target for molecular intervention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas