Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) patients are prone to thrombotic complications that may increase morbidity and mortality. These complications are thought to be driven by endothelial activation and tissue damage promoted by the systemic hyperinflammation associated with COVID-19. However, the exact mechanisms contributing to these complications are still unknown. To identify additional mechanisms contributing to the aberrant clotting observed in COVID-19 patients, we analyzed platelets from COVID-19 patients compared to those from controls using mass spectrometry. We identified increased serum amyloid A (SAA) levels, an acute-phase protein, on COVID-19 patients’ platelets. In addition, using an in vitro adhesion assay, we showed that healthy platelets adhered more strongly to wells coated with COVID-19 patient serum than to wells coated with control serum. Furthermore, inhibitors of integrin aIIbβ3 receptors, a mediator of platelet–SAA binding, reduced platelet adhesion to recombinant SAA and to wells coated with COVID-19 patient serum. Our results suggest that SAA may contribute to the increased platelet adhesion observed in serum from COVID-19 patients. Thus, reducing SAA levels by decreasing inflammation or inhibiting SAA platelet-binding activity might be a valid approach to abrogate COVID-19-associated thrombotic complications.
- serum amyloid A