Flow-Cytometric Analysis of Platelet-Membrane Glycoprotein Expression and Platelet Activation

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Abstract

Flow-cytometric measurement of platelet-surface glycoproteins in unfixed whole blood is a sensitive and quantitative approach that offers many advantages over other methods of platelet analysis for the following reasons:

  • It enables simultaneous analysis of multiple aspects of platelet biology to be conducted on large numbers of single platelets in a short time.

  • Analysis can be carried out in whole blood, making sample preparation rapid and relatively simple and reducing in vitro handling artifacts.

  • It enables 100% of the platelet population to be studied, including giant platelets, platelet-derived microparticles, and platelet-leukocyte aggregates.

  • Analysis of unfixed blood samples allows investigation of the platelet response to agonist stimulation.

  • Whole blood analysis means that platelets are studied in autologous plasma and in the presence of the other blood cells, which can contribute to the overall platelet response through and the release of soluble mediators.