Background: Cold storage of platelets in plasma maintains hemostatic function and is an attractive alternative to room temperature platelets (RTPs). We have recently shown that functional differences between cold-stored platelets (CSPs) and RTPs after 5-day storage are associated with mitochondrial respiration and that CSPs in platelet (PLT) additive solution (PAS) can maintain hemostatic function for at least 15 days. Study Design and Methods: This study tested the hypothesis that cold storage in PAS preserves mitochondrial integrity by reducing PLT apoptosis. CSPs and RTPs in plasma or PAS were stored and assayed for up to 15 days for mitochondrial function and integrity, mitochondrial-associated mRNA transcript expression, apoptotic proteins, and apoptotic flow cytometry metrics. Results: CSP preserved mitochondria-associated mRNA comparable to baseline levels, improved mitochondrial respiration, and minimized depolarization to Day 15. Additionally, CSPs had minimal induction of caspases, preservation of plasma membrane integrity, and low expression of pro-apoptotic Bax. Storage in PAS appeared to be protective for RTPs in some parameters and enhanced the effects of CSPs. Conclusion: Mitochondrial function and molecular analyses defined CSP priming as distinctly different from the well-documented RTP storage lesion. While current blood bank storage at room temperature is limited to 5 to 7 days, refrigeration and storage in PAS for up to 15 days may represent an opportunity to enhance inventories and access to PLT hemostatic support for bleeding patients.
- blood platelets