Indexed on: 31 Jan '08Published on: 31 Jan '08Published in: Platelets
Previous studies indicated that the camel has a very active haemostatic mechanism with a short bleeding time and thrombocytosis. However, platelet function, when tested by agonist-induced aggregation and PFA 100 closure time, showed marked inhibition compared to humans. Since camels are also far more resistant to long exposure to excessive heat and high body temperature than humans, it seemed worthwhile to explore fundamental morphological differences between human and camel platelets and those from other species. The present study has examined the ultrastructure of camel platelets and compared them with the fine structures of human, bovine and equine thrombocytes. Camel platelets, like bovine and equine cells, are discoid in shape and about two-thirds the size of human platelets. A circumferential coil of microtubular supports the disk-like form of camel platelets. Their cytoplasm, like bovine and equine platelets, is filled with alpha granule twice as large as those in human platelets, but lacking the organized matrix of equine alpha granules. Dense bodies are present in camel platelets with whip-like extensions not present on bovine or equine thrombocytes, but found on occasional human platelet dense bodies. Camel platelets, like bovine and equine thrombocytes, lack an open canalicular system (OCS) and must secrete granule products by fusion with the cell wall rather than an OCS. Future studies will determine if the differences in ultrastructural anatomy protect camel platelets from heat more than human thrombocytes.