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The Platelet Napoleon Complex—Small Cells, but Big Immune Regulatory Functions

Authors
  • Morrell, Craig N.
  • Pariser, Daphne N.
  • Hilt, Zachary T.
  • Vega Ocasio, Denisse
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annual Review of Immunology
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Apr 26, 2019
Volume
37
Pages
125–144
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-042718-041607
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Platelets have dual physiologic roles as both cellular mediators of thrombosis and immune modulatory cells. Historically, the thrombotic function of platelets has received significant research and clinical attention, but emerging research indicates that the immune regulatory roles of platelets may be just as important. We now know that in addition to their role in the acute thrombotic event at the time of myocardial infarction, platelets initiate and accelerate inflammatory processes that are part of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction expansion. Furthermore, it is increasingly apparent from recent studies that platelets impact the pathogenesis of many vascular inflammatory processes such as autoimmune diseases, sepsis, viral infections, and growth and metastasis of many types of tumors. Therefore, we must consider platelets as immune cells that affect all phases of immune responses.

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