The development of platelet factor 4 (PF4)/heparin (H) antibodies initiates the morbidity of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). This application seeks to elucidate the cellular basis of the PF4/H immune resposne using an optimized murine immunization model developed in our laboratory. Studies with this model have shown that PF4/H ultra large complexes (ULCs) potently induce PF4/H antibody (Ab) formation, directly activate DCs and induce proliferation of antigen-naive T-cells. Based on these observations, we hypothesize that PF4/H ULCs are not processed and presented as conventional antigens, but activate the immune system as SAGS. To test this hypothesis, we propose the following

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
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Heart, Lung, and Blood Initial Review Group (HLBP)
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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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