The zebrafish system is an excellent vertebrate genetic model to study hemostasis and thrombosis because saturation mutagenesis screens can identify novel genes that play a role in this vital physiologic pathway. To study hemostatic mutations, it is important to understand the physiology of zebrafish hemostasis and thrombosis. Previously, we identified zebrafish thrombocytes and have shown that they participate in arterial thrombus formation. Here, we recognized 2 populations of thrombocytes distinguishable by DiI-C18 (DiI) staining. DiI+ thrombocytes have a high density of adhesive receptors and are functionally more active than DiI- thrombocytes. We classified DiI+ thrombocytes as young and DiI- thrombocytes as mature thrombocytes. We found young and mature thrombocytes each formed independent clusters and that young thrombocytes clustered first. We have also shown that young thrombocytes initiate arterial thrombus formation. We propose that due to the increased adhesive receptor density on young thrombocytes, they adhere first to the subendothelial matrix, get activated rapidly, release agonists, and recruit more young thrombocytes, which further release more agonists. This increase in agonists activates the less active mature thrombocytes, drawing them to the growing thrombus. Since arterial thrombus formation is a fundamental hemostatic event, this mechanism may be conserved in mammals and may open new avenues for prevention of arterial thrombosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology