Small but mighty: Platelets as central effectors of host defense

Journal: Thrombosis and Haemostasis
ISSN: 0340-6245
Issue: 2017: Issue 4 2017 (pp. 647-821)
Pages: 651-661
Ahead of Print: 2017-02-16

Small but mighty: Platelets as central effectors of host defense

T. J. Stocker (1), H. Ishikawa-Ankerhold (1), S. Massberg (1, 2), C. Schulz (1, 2)

(1) Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I, Klinikum der Universität, Ludwig Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany; (2) DZHK (German Center for Cardiovascular Research), Partner Site Munich Heart Alliance, Munich, Germany


inflammation, Platelet immunology, leukocyte function / activation, sepsis, platelet physiology


Platelets actively participate in inflammatory processes and drive diseases such as atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer metastasis. However, platelets also have anti-inflammatory and anti-infective properties, which have received less consideration in the past. In this review, we highlight recent findings on the role of platelets in host defense and describe regulatory pathways modulating immune responses. Furthermore, we discuss the role of platelets for the resolution of inflammation and tissue repair. These conceptual changes contribute to our understanding of platelet biology in disease.

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