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Some effects of mucopolysaccharide stains on platelet aggregation
  1. J. R. O'Brien
  1. Portsmouth and Isle of Wight Area Pathology Service, St Mary's General Hospital, Portsmouth


    Five mucopolysaccharide stains inhibit platelet aggregation induced by several aggregating agents: with two stains inhibition is competitive. Alcian blue, 0·05 mg/ml, added to platelet-rich plasma potentiates ADP-induced aggregation. Alcian blue, 0·5 mg/ml, itself produces platelet aggregation, probably causing the release reaction. Three of these stains produce aggregation of red cells. They also bind heparin, and so may influence heparin-neutralizing sites (platelet factor 4) and probably the charge on the platelet membrane. The only known common factor to these stains is their ability to bind onto the mucopoly-saccharides. It is suggested that when platelets are `stained' the surface mucopolysaccharide is altered and that this alteration can influence platelet aggregation.

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