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The antimicrobial cathelicidin cramp augments platelet activation during psoriasis in mice

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Maryam F. Salamah, Thomas M. Vallance, Xenia Kodji, Divyashree Ravishankar, Harry F. Williams, Susan D. Brain, Sakthivel Vaiyapuri

Original languageEnglish
Article number1267
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number9
PublishedSep 2020

King's Authors


Platelet-associated complications including thrombosis, thrombocytopenia, and haemorrhage are commonly observed during various inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis. Although several mechanisms that may contribute to the dysfunction of platelets during inflammatory diseases have been reported, knowledge on the primary molecules/mechanisms that underpin platelet-associated complications in such conditions is not fully established. Here, we report the significance of the mouse antimicrobial cathelicidin, mouse cathelicidin-related antimicrobial peptide (mCRAMP) (an orthologue of LL37 in humans), on the modulation of platelet reactivity during psoriasis using Imiquimod-induced psoriasis in mice as an inflammatory disease model for psoriasis vulgaris in humans. The activation of platelets during psoriasis is increased as evidenced by the elevated levels of fibrinogen binding and P-selectin exposure on the surface of platelets, and the level of soluble P-selectin in the plasma of psoriatic mice. The skin and plasma of psoriatic mice displayed increased levels of mCRAMP. Moreover, the plasma of psoriatic mice augmented the activation of platelets obtained from healthy mice. The effect of mCRAMP is partially mediated through formyl peptide receptor 2/3 (Fpr2/3, the orthologue to human FPR2/ALX) in platelets as a significant reduction in their activation was observed when FPR2/ALX-selective inhibitors such as WRW4 or Fpr2/3-deficient mouse platelets were used in these assays. Since the level of antimicrobial cathelicidin is increased in numerous inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis, atherosclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease, the results of this study point towards a critical role for antimicrobial cathelicidin and FPR2/ALX in the development of platelet-related complications in such diseases.

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