Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, immunoprecipitation, and crossed immunoelectrophoresis were used in the investigation of glycoproteins IIb/IIIa in platelets, monocytes, and monocyte-derived macrophages from human blood. All techniques detected the glycoproteins in platelets but not in the mononuclear phagocytes. Similar results were obtained by immunochemistry using a monoclonal antibody against the platelet glycoproteins IIb/IIIa (revealed by a gold-labeled second antibody) which bound heavily to the platelet but not to the monocyte surface. The biochemical techniques used for the analysis of mononuclear phagocytes would have reliably detected the level of glycoproteins IIb/IIIa contributed by a 5% contamination with platelets, calculated on a per cell basis. We conclude that human monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages lack glycoproteins IIb/IIIa. Our results further indicate that centrifugal elutriation yields monocyte preparations with minimal contamination by platelets. It seems likely that the positive results obtained by other authors were due to the presence of platelets or fragments on the monocytes.

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