The binding of platelets to components in the subendothelial matrix is an initial event in hemostasis and thrombosis. The glycoprotein components of the matrix are considered important in this interaction. Of these, collagen binds and activates platelets and induces their aggregation. In this study we demonstrate that substrate-bound laminin causes time- and concentration-dependent adherence of human platelets to the substrate. The binding of platelets to laminin was found to be similar in some respects, but different in others, to their binding to surfaces coated with fibronectin or collagen. The binding of platelets to laminin or fibronectin was not associated with their activation under conditions in which type I collagen activates the platelets as measured by [14C]serotonin secretion. Platelets bound to laminin and fibronectin differed in their appearance; they remained rounded on laminin whereas they flattened completely on fibronectin. Binding of platelets to fibronectin, but not laminin, is inhibited by a recently described peptide (Pierschbacher, M., and E. Ruoslahti, 1984, Nature (Lond.), 309:30-33) containing the cell-attachment tetrapeptide sequence of fibronectin, which suggests that separate receptors exist for laminin and fibronectin. These studies establish laminin as a platelet-binding protein and suggest that laminin can contribute to the adhesiveness of exposed tissue matrices to platelets. Since laminin and fibronectin do not activate platelets, whereas collagen does, and laminin differs from fibronectin in that it does not induce spreading of the attached platelets, all three proteins appear to confer different signals to the platelets. Some of these may be related to platelet functions other than those necessary for the formation of a hemostatic plug.

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