Platelets respond to vascular damage and contribute to inflammation, but their role in the neurodegenerative diseases is unknown. We found that the systemic administration of brain lipid rafts induced a massive platelet activation and degranulation resulting in a life-threatening anaphylactic-like response in mice. Platelets were engaged by the sialated glycosphingolipids (gangliosides) integrated in the rigid structures of astroglial and neuronal lipid rafts. The brain-abundant gangliosides GT1b and GQ1b were specifically recognized by the platelets and this recognition involved multiple receptors with P-selectin (CD62P) playing the central role. During the neuroinflammation, platelets accumulated in the central nervous system parenchyma, acquired an activated phenotype and secreted proinflammatory factors, thereby triggering immune response cascades. This study determines a new role of platelets which directly recognize a neuronal damage and communicate with the cells of the immune system in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)