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Curr Hematol Rep. 2004 Sep;3(5):338-43.

All platelets are not equal: COAT platelets.

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  • 1Theodor Kocher Institute, University of Berne, Freiestrasse 1, CH-3012 Berne, Switzerland.


Collagen- and thrombin-activated (COAT) platelets were first described in 2000 and have attracted considerable interest, changing the interpretation of the way in which platelets contribute to thrombin generation and how their procoagulant activity is organized. Platelets activated by two agonists coming from glycoprotein VI or Fc gamma-receptor IIA agonists on the one hand and thrombin on the other produce a population of approximately 50% highly procoagulant active platelets. This subgroup is formed by tissue transglutaminase and factor XIIIa linking of serotonin to the procoagulant proteins from granules or plasma, and these serotonylated proteins bind to fibrinogen or thrombospondin on the platelet surface. Serotonylation in the platelet cytoplasm has recently been shown to be an important regulating mechanism governing the activation of small GTPases and their function in granule release. Recent studies with Tph-/- mice in which the peripheral serotonin, including that in platelets, is very strongly reduced, have shown a prolonged bleeding time, suggesting it has an important hemostatic role in the release of platelet von Willebrand factor. More knowledge about how COAT platelets are formed will be important for a better understanding of the physiology and pathology of hemostasis.

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