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Practical considerations of dissolved oxygen levels for platelet function under hypoxia

Kusanto, Branden; Gordon, Andrew; Naylor-Adamson, Leigh; Atkinson, Lloyd; Coupland, Charlie; Booth, Zoe; Ahmed, Yusra; Pires, Isabel M.; Stasiuk, Graeme J.; Sturmey, Roger; Calaminus, Simon D.J.; Arman, Mònica


Branden Kusanto

Andrew Gordon

Leigh Naylor-Adamson

Lloyd Atkinson

Charlie Coupland

Zoe Booth

Yusra Ahmed

Isabel M. Pires

Graeme J. Stasiuk

Mònica Arman


Investigating human platelet function in low-oxygen environments is important in multiple settings, including hypobaric hypoxia (e.g., high altitude), sea level hypoxia-related disease, and thrombus stability. These studies often involve drawing blood from which platelets are isolated and analysed at atmospheric conditions or re-exposed to low oxygen levels in hypoxia chambers before testing. However, it remains unknown how the in vitro handling of the samples itself changes their dissolved oxygen concentration, which might affect platelet function and experimental results. Here, we prepared healthy donor platelet-rich plasma and washed platelet (WP) suspensions and exposed them to 2% oxygen. We found that the use of hypoxia pre-equilibrated tubes, higher platelet concentrations (>2 × 108 /mL versus 2 × 107 /mL), smaller volumes (600 µL versus 3 mL), and presence of plasma reduced the time for samples to reach 2% oxygen. Notably, oxygen levels decreased below 2% in most suspensions, but also in WP maintained at atmospheric 21% oxygen. Additionally, platelet spreading on fibrinogen was decreased when using hypoxic fibrinogen-coated culture plates regardless of the oxygen percentage (2% or 21%) in which platelet incubation took place. Thus, sample handling and experimental conditions should be carefully monitored in platelethypoxia studies as they might compromise results interpretation and comparison across studies.


Kusanto, B., Gordon, A., Naylor-Adamson, L., Atkinson, L., Coupland, C., Booth, Z., …Arman, M. (2021). Practical considerations of dissolved oxygen levels for platelet function under hypoxia. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(24), Article 13223.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 1, 2021
Online Publication Date Dec 8, 2021
Publication Date Dec 2, 2021
Deposit Date Dec 9, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 9, 2021
Journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Electronic ISSN 1422-0067
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 24
Article Number 13223
Keywords Platelet; Platelet rich plasma; Whole blood; Hypoxia; Dissolved oxygen concentration; In vitro assay
Public URL


Published article (2.3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).

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