Increased phosphatidic acid (PA) and phospholipase D (PLD) activity are frequently observed in various disease states including cancers, diabetes, sepsis, and thrombosis. Previously, PA has been regarded as just a precursor for lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and diacylglycerol (DAG). However, increasing evidence has suggested independent biological activities of PA itself. In the present study, we demonstrated that PA can enhance thrombogenic activities in human erythrocytes through phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure in a Ca2+-dependent manner. In freshly isolated human erythrocytes, treatment of PA or PLD induced PS exposure. PA-induced PS exposure was not attenuated by inhibitors of phospholipase A2 or phosphatidate phosphatase, which converts PA to LPA or DAG. An intracellular Ca2+ increase and the resultant activation of Ca2+-dependent PKC-α appeared to underlie the PA-induced PS exposure through the activation of scramblase. A marginal decrease in flippase activity was also noted, contributing further to the maintenance of exposed PS on the outer membrane. PA-treated erythrocytes showed strong thrombogenic activities, as demonstrated by increased thrombin generation, endothelial cell adhesion, and erythrocyte aggregation. Importantly, these procoagulant activations by PA were confirmed in a rat in vivo venous thrombosis model, where PA significantly enhanced thrombus formation. In conclusion, these results suggest that PA can induce thrombogenic activities in erythrocytes through PS exposure, which can increase thrombus formation and ultimately contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases.

  • phosphatidylserine
  • procoagulant activation
  • thrombus formation
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