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The origin of HLA class I molecules on platelets is still under discussion. Adsorption of HLA molecules on platelets using specific experimental conditions has been described. The study presented investigates whether there is a significant elution and adsorption of HLA class I molecules on platelets during storage of pooled random platelet concentrates (PRPC) under routine conditions.
Platelet concentrates (PCs) from whole blood prepared from HLA-A2-positve and HLA-A2-negative donors, pooled and stored under routine conditions. In addition, platelets from HLA-A2-negative donors were pelleted and resuspended in cell-free plasma from HLA-A2-positiv donors. HLA-A2-positive PCs (positive control), HLA-A2-negative PCs (negative control) and HLA-A2-negative platelets in plasma from HLA-A2-negative donors were stored simultaneously. Binding of FITC-conjugated monoclonal murine antihuman Anti-HLA2 antibodies (anti-HLA-A2-mab) was measured during 5-day storage by flow cytometry.
An increased binding of anti-HLA-A2-mab during storage was found on HLA-A2-negative platelets (p<0,005) independently whether they were incubated with cell-free plasma or platelets from HLA-A2-positve donors or autologous HLA-A-negative cell-free plasma. However, non-specific binding of IgG controls increased equally, whereas anti-HLA-A2-mab binding to platelets from HLA-A2-positive donors did not decrease during storage.
The study suggests that there is no significant elution and adsorption of HLA class I antigens of platelets in pooled PCs during storage under the usual conditions for platelet storage. Increased anti-HLA-A2-mab signal was due to non-specific binding. Therefore, HLA class I compatible platelets should maintain their compatibility for an immunized patient when stored in a pool with HLA incompatible platelets and shortened survival after transfusion should not be expected.