Surface expression of fatty acid translocase [FAT/CD36] on platelets in myeloproliferative disease and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus: effect on arachidonic acid uptake

H. Salah-Uddin, M. J. Gordon, Isobel Ford, N. N. Tandon, Michael Greaves, A. K. Dutta Roy

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Increased platelet reactivity has been implicated in the vascular complications of myeloproliferative diseases and diabetes mellitus. The mechanisms of platelet hyperresponsiveness have not been fully explained. Expression of CD36 or fatty acid translocase (FAT) and its role in arachidonic acid (AA) uptake by platelets were examined in subjects with myeloproliferative disorders (MPD), those with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), and in normal, healthy, age-matched controls. Surface expression of CD36 on platelet membranes was increased in MPD (10.94 +/- 0.76 pmol/mg protein) compared with normal controls (6.94 +/- 0.48 pmol/mg protein), p < 0.001. Total platelet content of CD36 was also significantly higher (32.1 &PLUSMN; 0.61 pmol/mg protein, p < 0.01) compared with those in sex and age matched normal controls (25.7 +/- 1.09 pmol/mg protein). In contrast, platelet surface expression of CD36 in NIDDM (6.5 +/- 0.56 pmol/mg protein) was not significantly different from those of normal controls despite higher total content of CD36 (32.8 +/- 1.2,, pmol/mg protein, p < 0.01). Intact MPD platelets bound significantly more arachidonic acid (AA) (1.53 &PLUSMN; 0.16 nmol/mg protein, p < 0.05), compared with controls (1.12 +/- 0.07 nmol/mg protein) or NIDDM subjects (1.16 +/- 0.16 nmol/mg protein). The capacity of MPD platelet membranes to bind C-14-AA was also increased (1.72 +/- 0.25 nmol/mg protein, p < 0.05) compared with that of controls (1.62 &PLUSMN; 0.05 nmol/mg protein) and of NIDDM (1.22 &PLUSMN; 0.08 nmol/mg protein). This is consistent with higher surface expression of CD36 in MPD platelets. Membrane fatty acid analysis indicated that the % of AA in platelet phospholipids was significantly lower in MPD (3.15 &PLUSMN; 0.81%) compared with the controls (5.62 &PLUSMN; 1.7%, p < 0.05. The AA content of diabetic platelets (4.82 +/- 1.1%) was not significantly different from normal controls. In summary, both total and surface expression of CD36 are increased in MPD, consistent with an enhanced capacity for uptake of AA by platelets. Increased expression of CD36 in platelets may play a role in the vaso-occlusive manifestations of MPD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-211
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular & Cellular Biochemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • FAT
  • CD36
  • fatty acid translocase
  • arachidonic acid
  • platelets
  • diabetes
  • myeloproliferative disorders
  • fatty acid uptake
  • thromboxane A2
  • membrane phospholipids
  • IV CD36

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