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Nat Med. 2005 Nov;11(11):1167-9. Epub 2005 Oct 30.

Platelets mediate cytotoxic T lymphocyte-induced liver damage.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


We found that platelet depletion reduces intrahepatic accumulation of virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and organ damage in mouse models of acute viral hepatitis. Transfusion of normal but not activation-blocked platelets in platelet-depleted mice restored accumulation of CTLs and severity of disease. In contrast, anticoagulant treatment that prevented intrahepatic fibrin deposition without reducing platelet counts did not avert liver injury. Thus, activated platelets contribute to CTL-mediated liver immunopathology independently of procoagulant function.

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