At sites of blood vessel injury, platelets release numerous substances that may have biological activities influencing cellular responses. In this study we examined separately the chemotactic activity for fibroblasts of three highly purified proteins obtained from platelet alpha granules: platelet factor 4 (PF4), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and beta-thromboglobulin (BTG). We observed that each of these proteins was strongly chemotactic for fibroblasts, with maximum chemotactic activity in each instance comparable to that observed with an optimal concentration of the control chemotactic protein, plasma fibronectin. Each protein was active at very low concentrations. The peak chemotactic activities of PF4, PDGF, and BTG occurred at 200 mg/ml, 30 ng/ml, and 6 ng/ml, respectively. Specificity of fibroblast chemotaxis to individual platelet proteins was provided by finding that anti-PF4 immunoglobulin blocked the chemotactic activity of PF4 without affecting the chemotactic activity of PDGF, while anti-PDGF immunoglobulin blocked the activity of PDGF but did not alter the capacity of PF4 to promote fibroblast chemotaxis. These results suggest that in vivo several alpha granule proteins released from platelets may affect wound healing by causing directed fibroblast migration.

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