Platelet induced functional alteration of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in HNSCC

Christina Polasky*, Franziska Wendt, Ralph Pries, Barbara Wollenberg

*Corresponding author for this work


Platelets (PLT) are the second most abundant cell type in human blood and exert various immune-regulatory functions under both physiological and pathological conditions. In fact, immune cell regulation via platelets has been demonstrated in several studies within the past decade. However, the exact mechanisms behind T cell regulation remain poorly understood. We questioned whether the formation of aggregates of platelets and T cells has an impact on T-cell functions. In the present study, we stimulated PBMC cultures with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 mABs and cultured them at a PLT: PBMC ratio of 1:1 or 100:1. After 24, 48, and 72 h, PD-1, PD-L1 expression, and proliferation were analyzed on T cells using flow cytometry. Cytokine production was measured in PHA stimulated CD4 cells after 6 h. We found a significant platelet-mediated decrease in PD-1 and PD-L1 expression, proliferation, as well as IFN-γ and TNF-α production. Perturbations also at least partially remained after spatial separation of PLTs from PBMCs in Transwell-assays. T cell-platelet aggregates showed similar levels of activation markers, proliferation, and secreted cytokines as their non-complexed counterparts. Results indicate a platelet mediated regulation of T cells via direct and indirect contact, but only mediocre effects of the complex formation itself.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7507
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number20
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 02.10.2020


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