The beta-amyloid (A beta) peptide is present both in serum and in platelets, however it is unclear whether A beta plays a role in platelet function. We have now investigated the effects of soluble A beta on platelet function and have found that low levels (0.1-1 nM) of soluble A beta augment ADP-dependent platelet aggregation and translocation of focal adhesion kinase to the platelet cytoskeleton. Addition of A beta to gel-filtered platelets along with concentrations of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) producing submaximal aggregation responses increased the aggregation response by over 2-fold depending on the ADP:A beta ratios. The structure activity requirements for A beta activity showed intriguing constraints. Only full length A beta has significant activity. Truncated A beta peptides, such as A beta(1-16) or A beta(25-35), or reverse A beta(40-1) all show little or no activity. We also examined the activity of mutant A beta peptides, corresponding with the APP(692A-G) and APP(693E-Q) (at A beta21 and A beta22, respectively) which are found in familial Alzheimer’s disease and hereditary cerebral hemorrhagic amyloidosis, Dutch type (HCHWA-D), and found that these peptides showed little or no activity. These results suggest that A beta interacts with platelets in a highly specific manner and may play a role in regulating platelet function.
Available online at: http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/v3/n6/abs/4000451a.html