Extracellular Polyphosphate Promotes Macrophage and Fibrocyte Differentiation, Inhibits Leukocyte Proliferation, and Acts as a Chemotactic Agent for Neutrophils. Academic Article uri icon


  • Fibrocytes are monocyte-derived fibroblast like cells that participate in wound healing, but little is known about what initiates fibrocyte differentiation. Blood platelets contain 60-100-mer polymers of phosphate groups called polyphosphate, and when activated, platelets induce blood clotting (the first step in wound healing) in part by the release of polyphosphate. We find that activated platelets release a factor that promotes fibrocyte differentiation. The factor is abolished by treating the crude platelet factor with the polyphosphate-degrading enzyme polyphosphatase, and polyphosphate promotes fibrocyte differentiation. Macrophages and recruited neutrophils also potentiate wound healing, and polyphosphate also promotes macrophage differentiation and induces chemoattraction of neutrophils. In support of the hypothesis that polyphosphate is a signal that affects leukocytes, we observe saturable binding of polyphosphate to these cells. Polyphosphate also inhibits leukocyte proliferation and proteasome activity. These results suggest new roles for extracellular polyphosphate as a mediator of wound healing and inflammation and also provide a potential link between platelet activation and the progression of fibrosing diseases.

published proceedings

  • J Immunol

altmetric score

  • 1.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Suess, P. M., Chinea, L. E., Pilling, D., & Gomer, R. H.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Suess, Patrick M||Chinea, Luis E||Pilling, Darrell||Gomer, Richard H

publication date

  • July 2019