The Platelet Electrome: Evidence for a Role in Regulation of Function and Surface Interaction

Michael Pycraft Hughes, Emily J. Kruchek, Jonathan M. Gibbins, Oreoluwa V. Griffiths, Bader Abdal, Fatima H. Labeed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Platelets protect the body from injury through formation of blood clots, changing from a normal, quiescent state to becoming "activated"in response to external stimuli such as chemical cues, shear stress, and temperature. This causes changes in shape, increased adhesion, and alteration of electrical properties such as membrane potential Vm and zeta potential ζ. These electrical phenomena have been regarded as largely unconnected; for example, changes in ζ have been attributed solely to alteration of surface lipid concentration. However, recent reports suggest that cells can alter ζ electrostatically by alteration of Vm in red blood cells. We hypothesized that if platelets also modulate ζ through Vm, this may provide an alternative mechanism to alter cell-cell interaction. Materials and Methods: We investigated platelets stored at different temperatures (4°C, 22°C, and 37°C) for 24 h, which is known to alter platelet behavior and electrical properties, and compared these with analyses of freshly harvested platelets. These four conditions exhibited unique sets of electrical properties (Vm, ζ, membrane conductance Geff, and cytoplasm conductivity σcyto), as well as surface exposure of the adhesion molecule P-selectin. These were analyzed to identify correlations between electrical parameters and platelet activation state. Results: Many parameters exhibit pairwise correlation across all four conditions, in particular between ζ and Geff, and between Vm and σcyto. Furthermore, when the electrical behavior of platelets stored at 4°C (known to activate the cells) was removed from the analysis, additional relationships were observed among the remaining conditions, including those connecting ζ and Vm to the amount of P-selectin binding. Conclusion: Results suggest that Vm may mechanistically alter the availability of cationic molecules at the cell surface, a process never reported before, with implications for our wider understanding of cell-molecule and cell-cell interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • activation
  • aggregation
  • dielectrophoresis
  • electrome
  • membrane
  • zeta potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Transplantation


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