Intraflagellar transport proteins are involved in thrombocyte filopodia formation and secretion

<p>Intraflagellar transport (IFT) proteins are vital for the genesis and maintenance of cilia. Our identification of <i>ift122</i> transcripts in zebrafish thrombocytes that lack primary cilia was unexpected. IFT proteins serve transport in cilia, whose narrow dimensions may have necessitated the evolution of IFT from vesicular transport in ancestral eukaryotes. We hypothesized that IFTs might also facilitate transport within the filopodia that form when thrombocytes are activated. To test this possibility, we knocked down <i>ift122</i> expression by injecting antisense Morpholino oligonucleotides (MOs) into zebrafish embryos. Laser-induced arterial thrombosis showed prolonged time to occlusion (TTO) of the vessel, as would be expected with defective thrombocyte function. Acute effects in adult zebrafish were evaluated by Vivo-Morpholino (Vivo-MO) knockdown of <i>ift122</i>. Vivo-MO morphants showed a prolonged time to thrombocyte aggregation (TTA) in the plate tilt assay after thrombocyte activation by the following agonists: ADP, collagen, PAR1 peptide, and epinephrine. A luminescence assay for ATP revealed that ATP secretion by thrombocytes was reduced in collagen-activated blood of Vivo-MO <i>ift122</i> morphants. Moreover, DiI-C18 labeled morphant thrombocytes exposed to collagen showed reductions in filopodia number and length. Analysis of <i>ift</i> mutants, in which cilia defects have been noted, also showed prolongation of TTO in our arterial laser thrombosis assay. Additionally, collagen activation of wild-type thrombocytes led to a concentration of IFT122 both within and at the base of filopodia. Taken together these results, suggest that IFT proteins are involved in both the extension of filopodia and secretion of ATP, which are critical in thrombocyte function.</p>