Electron cryotomography reveals ultrastructure alterations in platelets from patients with ovarian cancer

Rui Wang, Rebecca L. Stone, Jason T. Kaelber, Ryan H. Rochat, Alpa M. Nick, K. Vinod Vijayan, Vahid Afshar-Kharghan, Michael F. Schmida, Anil K. Sood, Wah Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Thrombocytosis and platelet hyperreactivity are known to be associated with malignancy; however, there have been no ultrastructure studies of platelets from patients with ovarian cancer. Here, we used electron cryotomography (cryo-ET) to examine frozen-hydrated platelets from patients with invasive ovarian cancer (n = 12) and control subjects either with benign adnexal mass (n = 5) or free from disease (n = 6). Qualitative inspections of the tomograms indicate significant morphological differences between the cancer and control platelets, including disruption of the microtubule marginal band. Quantitative analysis of subcellular features in 120 platelet electron tomograms from these two groups showed statistically significant differences in mitochondria, as well as microtubules. These structural variations in the platelets from the patients with cancer may be correlated with the altered platelet functions associated with malignancy. Cryo-ET of platelets shows potential as a noninvasive biomarker technology for ovarian cancer and other platelet-related diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14266-14271
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 17 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cryotomography
  • Electron
  • Microtubule|cancer
  • Platelet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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