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J Leukoc Biol. 2009 Feb;85(2):195-204. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0708400. Epub 2008 Oct 23.

Molecular and functional interactions among monocytes, platelets, and endothelial cells and their relevance for cardiovascular diseases.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Sanquin Research and Landsteiner Laboratory, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Platelets, monocytes, and endothelial cells are instrumental in the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases. Inflammation, a key process underlying cardiovascular disorders, is accompanied and amplified by activation of platelets and consequent binding of such platelets to the endothelium. There, platelet-derived chemokines, in conjunction with increased expression of adhesion molecules, promote the recruitment of circulating monocytes that will eventually migrate across the endothelial lining of the vessel into the tissues. Additionally, platelets may already become activated in the circulation and may form platelet-monocyte complexes, which show increased adhesive and migratory capacities themselves but also facilitate recruitment of noncomplexed leukocytes. They should therefore be considered as important mediators of inflammation. In molecular terms, these events are additionally governed by chemokines released and presented by the endothelium as well as the different classes of endothelial adhesion molecules that regulate the interactions among the various cell types. Most important in this respect are the selectins and their ligands, such as P-selectin glycoprotein (GP) ligand 1, and the integrins binding to Ig-like cell adhesion molecules as well as to GP, such as von Willebrand factor, present in the extracellular matrix or on activated endothelium. This review aims to provide an overview of these complex interactions and of their functional implications for inflammation and development of cardiovascular disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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