Blood Journal
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Immobilized platelets support human colon carcinoma cell tethering, rolling, and firm adhesion under dynamic flow conditions

  1. Owen J. T. McCarty,
  2. Shaker A. Mousa,
  3. Paul F. Bray, and
  4. Konstantinos Konstantopoulos
  1. 1 From the Department of Chemical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; DuPont Pharmaceuticals Co, Wilmington, DE.


Accumulating evidence suggests that successful metastatic spread may depend on the ability of tumor cells to undergo extensive interactions with platelets. However, the mechanisms mediating tumor cell adhesion to platelets under conditions of flow remain largely unknown. Therefore, this study was designed to analyze the ability of 3 human colon carcinoma cell lines (LS174T, COLO205, and HCT-8) to bind to surface-anchored platelets under flow and to identify the receptors involved in these processes. Immobilized platelets support LS174T cell adhesion at wall shear stresses up to 1.4 dyn/cm2. Our data suggest that platelets primarily recruit LS174T cells through a 2-step, sequential process of adhesive interactions that shares common features but is distinct from that elaborated for neutrophils. Platelet P-selectin mediates LS174T cell tethering and rolling in a PSGL-1- and CD24-independent manner. Moreover, platelet αIIbβ3-integrins appear to be capable of directly capturing LS174T cells from the fluid stream, and also convert instantaneously transient tethers initiated by P-selectin into stable adhesion. This step is at least partially mediated by von Willebrand factor, but not fibrinogen or fibronectin, that bridges platelet αIIbβ3 with a yet unidentified receptor on the LS174T cell surface via an RGD-dependent mechanism. The sequential engagement of platelet P-selectin and αIIbβ3 is also requisite for the optimal adhesion of COLO205. Furthermore, HCT-8 cells, which fail to interact with P-selectin, tether minimally to surface-anchored platelets under flow, despite their extensive adhesive interactions under static conditions. This cascade of events depicts an efficacious process for colon carcinoma arrest at sites of vascular injury.

  • Submitted October 19, 1999.
  • Accepted April 26, 2000.
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