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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2008 Mar;28(3):s5-10. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.107.158915. Epub 2008 Jan 3.

Platelets: inflammatory firebugs of vascular walls.

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  • 1Medizinische Klinik III, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Otfried-Müller-Strasse 10, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.


Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease. Platelets can "inflame" the vascular wall by various mechanisms and thereby initiate and support the development of atherosclerosis. Platelet interaction with leukocytes, endothelial cells, and circulating progenitor cells triggers autocrine and paracrine activation processes, leading to inflammatory and atherogenic cascades at the vascular wall. This review highlights the molecular key components and pathways used by platelets to trigger and accelerate inflammation at the vascular wall and, thereby, atherosclerosis.

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