Background - The collection of the first blood flow into a diversion pouch (DP) has become widely adopted in blood donation systems to reduce whole-blood unit contamination from skin bacteria. The strict control of pre-analytical variables, such as blood collection and proper anticoagulant selection, is critical to diminish experimental variability when studying different aspects of platelet biology. We hypothesize that the functional, mitochondrial, and metabolomic profiles of platelets isolated from the DP are not different from the ones isolated from standard venipuncture (VP), thus representing a suitable collection method of platelets for experimental purposes.
Materials and methods - Whole blood from the blood DP or VP was collected. Platelets were subsequently isolated and washed following standard protocols. Platelet function was assessed by flow cytometry, light transmission aggregometry, clot retraction, and under flow conditions using the total thrombus formation analyzer (T-TAS). Mitochondrial function and the platelet metabolome profiles were determined by the Seahorse extracellular flux analyzer (Agilent, Santa Clara, CA, USA)
and ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry metabolomics, respectively.
Results - Platelets isolated from VP and the DP have similar functional, mitochondrial, and metabolic profiles with no significant differences between both groups at baseline and upon activation by any of the assays mentioned above.
Discussion - The findings of our study support the use of platelets from the DP for performing functional and metabolic studies on platelets from a wide range of blood donors. The DP may serve as an alternative blood collection method to standard VP, allowing the study of diverse aspects of platelet biology, such as age, sex, race, and ethnicity, in many eligible individuals for blood donation.
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