The platelet injury produced by bacterial endotoxin and thrombin have been compared in studies utilizing citrated rabbit platelet-rich plasma. Endotoxin-induced platelet injury is characterized by a lag period, is progressive, and does not produce gross clot formation. Thrombin-induced platelet injury is immediate, non-progressive, and is associated with clot formation. The quantity of thrombin required to produce clot formation in this citrated system is less than that required to produce release of platelet 5-hydroxytryptamine. The endotoxin-induced platelet injury required extremely large quantities of heparin for inhibition. The platelet injury induced by thrombin can be inhibited by small quantities of heparin. It is concluded that the injurious effects of endotoxin on platelets is mediated through some mechanism other than thrombin formation.

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