Targeting shear gradient activated von Willebrand factor by the novel single-chain antibody A1 reduces occlusive thrombus formation in vitro

Thomas Hoefer, Akshita Rana, Beeri Niego, Shweta Jagdale, Hugo J. Albers, Elizabeth E. Gardiner, Robert K. Andrews, Andries D. van der Meer, Christoph E. Hagemeyer, Erik Westein*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Intraluminal thrombus formation precipitates conditions such as acute myocardial infarction and disturbs local blood flow resulting in areas of rapidly changing blood flow velocities and steep gradients of blood shear rate. Shear rate gradients are known to be pro-thrombotic with an important role for the shear-sensitive plasma protein von Willebrand factor (VWF). Here, we developed a single-chain antibody (scFv) that targets a shear gradient specific conformation of VWF to specifically inhibit platelet adhesion at sites of shear rate gradients (SRG) but not in areas of constant shear. Microfluidic flow channels with stenotic segments were used to create SRG during blood perfusion. VWF-GPIba interactions were increased at sites of SRG compared to constant shear rate of matched magnitude. The scFv-A1 specifically reduced VWF-GPIba binding and thrombus formation at sites of SRG but did not block platelet deposition and aggregation under constant shear rate in upstream sections of the channels. Significantly, the scFv A1 attenuated platelet aggregation only in the later stages of thrombus formation. In the absence of shear, direct binding of scFv-A1 to VWF could not be detected and scFVA1 did not inhibit ristocetin induced platelet agglutination. We have exploited the pro-aggregatory effects of SRG on VWF dependent platelet aggregation and developed the shear gradient-sensitive scFv-A1 antibody that inhibits platelet aggregation exclusively at sites of SRG. The lack of VWF inhibition in non-stenosed vessel segments places scFV-A1 in an entirely new class of anti-platelet therapy for selective blockade of pathological thrombus formation while maintaining normal hemostasis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2874-2884
    Number of pages11
    JournalHaematologica
    Volume106
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

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