Platelet CD40L Modulates Thrombus Growth Via Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase β, and Not Via CD40 and IκB Kinase α

Marijke J.E. Kuijpers, Nadine J.A. Mattheij, Lina Cipolla, Johanna P. Van Geffen, Toby Lawrence, Marjo M.P.C. Donners, Louis Boon, Dirk Lievens, Mauro Torti, Heidi Noels, Norbert Gerdes, Judith M.E.M. Cosemans, Esther Lutgens, Johan W.M. Heemskerk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective - To investigate the roles and signaling pathways of CD40L and CD40 in platelet-platelet interactions and thrombus formation under conditions relevant for atherothrombosis. Approach and Results - Platelets from mice prone to atherosclerosis lacking CD40L (Cd40lg-/-Apoe-/-) showed diminished αIIbβ3activation and α-granule secretion in response to glycoprotein VI stimulation, whereas these responses of CD40-deficient platelets (Cd40-/-Apoe-/-) were not decreased. Using blood from Cd40lg-/-Apoe-/- and Cd40-/-Apoe-/- mice, the glycoprotein VI-dependent formation of dense thrombi was impaired on atherosclerotic plaque material or on collagen, in comparison with Apoe-/- blood. In all genotypes, addition of CD40L to the blood enhanced the growth of dense thrombi on plaques and collagen. Similarly, CD40L enhanced glycoprotein VI-induced platelet aggregation, even with platelets deficient in CD40. This potentiation was antagonized in Pik3cbR/R platelets or by inhibiting phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase β (PI3Kβ). Addition of CD40L also enhanced collagen-induced Akt phosphorylation, which was again antagonized by absence or inhibition of PI3Kβ. Finally, platelets from Chuk1A/AApoe-/- mice deficient in IκB kinase α (IKKα), implicated in CD40 signaling to nuclear factor (NF) κB, showed unchanged responses to CD40L in aggregation or thrombus formation. Conclusions - Under atherogenic conditions, CD40L enhances collagen-induced platelet-platelet interactions by supporting integrin αIIbβ3activation, secretion and thrombus growth via PI3Kβ, but not via CD40 and IKKα/NFκB. This role of CD40L exceeds the no more than modest role of CD40 in thrombus formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1374-1381
Number of pages8
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 27 2015


  • CD40
  • CD40 ligand
  • atherosclerosis
  • atherothrombosis
  • blood platelets
  • signal transduction
  • signaling pathways
  • thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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