Comparative Ultrastructural Analyses of Platelets and fibrin Networks Using the Murine Model of Asthma

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Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology 59 (2007) 105–114 www.elsevier.de/etp

Comparative ultrastructural analyses of platelets and fibrin networks using the murine model of asthma
E. PretoriusÃ, O.E. Ekpo, E. Smit
Department of Anatomy, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, BMW Building, P.O. Box 2034, Pretoria 0001, South Africa Received 10 October 2006; accepted 13 February 2007

Abstract
The murine Balb/c asthma model has been used successfully for a number of in vivo immunological applications and for testing novel therapeutics, and it is a reliable, clinically relevant facsimile of the human disease. Here we investigate whether this model can be used to study other components of the human body, e.g. ultrastrucure. In particular, we investigate the effect of the phytomedicine Euphorbia hirta (used to treat asthma), on the ultrastructure of fibrin as well as platelets, cellular structures that both play an important role in the coagulation process. Hydrocortisone is used as positive control. Ultrastructure of the fibrin networks and platelets of control mice were compared to mice that were asthmatic, treated with two concentrations of hydrocortisone and one concentration of the plant material. Results indicate control mice possess major, thick fibers and minor thin fibers as well as tight round platelet aggregates with typical pseudopodia formation. Minor fibers of asthmatic mice have a netlike appearance covering the major fibers, while the platelets seem to form loosely connected, granular aggregates. Both concentrations of hydrocortisone make the fibrin more fragile and that platelet morphology changes form a tight platelet aggregate to a more granular aggregate not closely fused to each other. We conclude that E. hirta does not impact on the fragility of the fibrin and that it prevents the minor fibers…...

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