Transcellular metabolism of arachidonic acid: Increased platelet thromboxane generation in the presence of activated polymorphonuclear leukocytes

Norma Maugeri, Virgilio Evangelista, Paola Piccardoni, Giuseppe Dell'Elba, Antonio Celardo, Giovanni De Gaetano, Chiara Cerletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) activated by n-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP), in the presence of cytochalasin B, are able to induce activation of coincubated autologous platelets "via" cathepsin G released from the azurophilic granules. However, thromboxane (Tx) B2 production in this system cannot be completely explained by cathepsin G-stimulated platelet arachidonate metabolism. Indeed, the amount of TxB2 found in supernatants of platelet/ PMN suspensions challenged with 1 μmol/L fMLP was twofold to fourfold higher than that measured when platelets were stimulated by supernatants from fMLP-activated PMN. In the present report, we analyzed the possibility that PMN-induced TxB2 production in this system is the result of transcellular metabolism of arachidonic acid (AA) between fMLP-activated PMN and cathepsin G-stimulated platelets. 3H-AA-labeled PMN were used to test if a transfer of AA or metabolite(s) occur from PMN to platelets. Our results showed that: (1) 3H-TxB2 and 3H-12-HHT are synthesized when 3H-AA-labeled PMN are activated mixed to unlabeled platelets; (2) total radioactivity released by fMLP-stimulated PMN is increased in the presence of platelets, whereas the membrane content of unesterified 3H-AA is reduced; (3) platelet cyclooxygenase inhibition completely prevents 3H-TxB2 synthesis; and (4) inhibition of cathepsin G-induced platelet activation with the antiprotease eglin C blocks the formation of 3H-TxB2. These data show that in the experimental system used, platelets use PMN-derived unmetabolized AA to synthesize TxB2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-451
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

Cite this