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Cytoskeleton mechanics determine resting size and activation dynamics of platelets.

By Aastha Mathur, Sandra Raquel Correia, Serge Dmitrieff, Romain Gibeaux, Iana Kalinina, Tooba Quidwai, Jonas Ries, Francois Nedelec

Posted 10 Sep 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/413377

Platelets are cell fragments of various size that help maintain hemostasis. The way platelets respond during a clotting process is known to depend on their size, with important physiological consequences. We characterized the cytoskeleton of platelets as a function of their size. In resting Human and Mice platelets, we find a quadradic law between the size of a platelet and the amount of microtubule polymer it contains. We further estimate the length and number of microtubules in the marginal band using Electron and Super-resolution microscopy. In platelets activated with ADP, the marginal band coils as a consequence of cortical contraction driven by actin. We observe that this elastic coiling response is accompanied by a reversible shortening of the marginal band. Moreover, larger platelets have a higher propensity to coil. These results establish the dynamic equilibrium that is responsible for platelet size and differential response on a more quantitative level.

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