Neutrophil macroaggregates promote widespread pulmonary thrombosis after gut ischemia

Yuping Yuan, Imala Alwis, Mike C.L. Wu, Zane Kaplan, Katrina Ashworth, David Bark, Alan Pham, James McFadyen, Simone M. Schoenwaelder, Emma C. Josefsson, Benjamin T. Kile, Shaun P. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Gut ischemia is common in critically ill patients, promoting thrombosis and inflammation in distant organs. The mechanisms linking hemodynamic changes in the gut to remote organ thrombosis remain ill defined. We demonstrate that gut ischemia in the mouse induces a distinct pulmonary thrombotic disorder triggered by neutrophil macroaggregates. These neutrophil aggregates lead to widespread occlusion of pulmonary arteries, veins, and the microvasculature. A similar pulmonary neutrophil-rich thrombotic response occurred in humans with the acute respiratory distress syndrome. Intravital microscopy during gut ischemia-reperfusion injury revealed that rolling neutrophils extract large membrane fragments from remnant dying platelets in multiple organs. These platelet fragments bridge adjacent neutrophils to facilitate macroaggregation. Platelet-specific deletion of cyclophilin D, mitochondrial regulator of cell necrosis, prevented neutrophil macroaggregation and pulmonary thrombosis. Our studies demonstrate the existence of a distinct pulmonary thrombotic disorder triggered by dying platelets and neutrophil macroaggregates. Therapeutic targeting of platelet death pathways may reduce pulmonary thrombosis in critically ill patients

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaam5861
Number of pages14
JournalScience Translational Medicine
Issue number409
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2017

Cite this