Article Abstract

Enhancing autophagy protects platelets in immune thrombocytopenia patients

Authors: Chun-Yan Wang, Sai Ma, Shao-Jie Bi, Le Su, Shu-Ya Huang, Jun-Ying Miao, Chun-Hong Ma, Cheng-Jiang Gao, Ming Hou, Jun Peng


Background: Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an autoimmune bleeding disorder and involves increased apoptosis of platelets. Autophagy is an essential process for platelets to maintain their life and physiological functions. However, the role of autophagy in ITP platelets was previously unclear.
Methods: In the present study, the expression of autophagy-related protein and autophagy flux were detected in platelets from ITP patients and healthy controls by immunofluorescence staining and immunoblotting, and the influence of autophagy on the viability and apoptosis of ITP platelets was further explored.
Results: We found that platelet autophagy was diminished in ITP patients. Platelet autophagy in ITP was regulated by the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, with mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) as a negative regulator and class III PtdIns3K playing a crucial role in the process. Importantly, the small-molecule compound ABO (6-amino-2,3-dihydro-3-hydroxymethyl-1,4-benzoxazine) enhanced autophagy in ITP platelets. Enhancing platelet autophagy alleviated platelet destruction by inhibiting apoptosis and improving platelet viability.
Conclusions: These results suggest a role for autophagy regulation in the pathogenesis of ITP, and offer a novel treatment for these patients.