Immune activation of platelets in response to serial phlebotomy in pigtailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina)

Meghan S. Vermillion, Claire E. Lyons, Kevin M. Najarro, Robert J. Adams, Kelly A. Metcalf Pate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Serial phlebotomy is a common sampling practice for repeated-measures studies in biomedical research. In NHP, the effect of serial blood collection on RBC parameters has been characterized, but the effects on platelet parameters and other aspects of the hemogram have not been well studied. We sought to characterize the circulating platelet phenotype throughout the course of 7 serial phlebotomies spanning 30 d in pigtailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina). Phlebotomy was performed on 23 animals at days 0, 2, 4, 7, 10, 21, and 30 to quantify the circulating platelet count and markers of both hemostatic and immune platelet activation. Platelet immune activation was characterized by increases in surface MHC class I and II expression and increases in circulating platelet-leukocyte aggregates. These changes occurred in the absence of increases in the prohemostatic markers P-selectin and CD40L and without evidence of adverse clinical effects. Mild increases in platelet count, mean platelet volume, and immune activation occurred early in the study. After day 21, mean platelet volume and other hematologic parameters returned to baseline while changes in platelet count and immune activation were greater than during the first 10 d of the study. These data demonstrate that serial phlebotomy in NHP has delayed effects on platelet parameters, which may be a source of clinically silent, immunologic and physiologic variability within repeated measures studies. The impact of these effects on research aims should be considered when designing protocols requiring serial phlebotomy in NHP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-367
Number of pages8
JournalComparative medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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