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New Biol. 1990 Apr;2(4):313-23.

Two burgeoning families of platelet factor 4-related proteins: mediators of the inflammatory response.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021.


The inflammatory response involves the recruitment and activation of various types of cells from the systemic circulation and from local tissues. One important component of the inflammatory response is the activation of platelets at sites of tissue injury and inflammation. In particular, activated platelets release large amounts of two proteins, platelet factor 4 (PF4) and beta-thromboglobulin (beta TG), which mediate several inflammatory processes. Recently, many novel proteins that are structurally related to PF4 and beta TG have been identified. The PF4-related proteins are secreted by white blood cells, endothelial cells, and fibroblasts in response to various inflammatory and mitogenic stimuli. Like PF4, these proteins appear to be inflammatory response mediators; several of them are potent chemoattractants, activating agents, or mitogens for specific cell types that are involved in the inflammatory response. The study of PF4-related proteins provides new insight into the mechanisms of the immune response, and may result in the development of new therapeutic agents.

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