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Circ Res. 2005 Apr 1;96(6):612-6.

Platelets and chemokines in atherosclerosis: partners in crime.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Cardiovascular Research, University Hospital, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule, Aachen, Germany.


It becomes increasingly evident that blood platelets do not only exert important functions in hemostasis and thrombus formation but are also involved in atherosclerotic vascular disease. A major portion of the underlying mechanisms is related to an intricate functional interaction of platelets with chemokines, which have also been implicated in atherogenesis and neointima formation: (1) Platelets can induce the secretion of chemokines in different cells of the vascular wall; (2) In combination with primary agonists, certain chemokines can potentiate platelet aggregation and adhesion; (3) Activated platelets can release and deposit chemokines and precursors on vascular cell surfaces, which trigger atherogenic recruitment of vascular cells or modulate crucial processes such as angiogenesis and lipoprotein metabolism; (4) Surface-adherent platelets can bind and present vascular cell-derived chemokines to trigger arrest of circulating mononuclear cells. The close linkage between platelets and chemokines as culprits in the pathogenesis of vascular diseases may provide a valuable target for selective interventions.

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