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J Thromb Haemost. 2011 Jul;9 Suppl 1:66-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2011.04364.x.

Regulating thrombus growth and stability to achieve an optimal response to injury.

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Department of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


An optimal platelet response to injury can be defined as one in which blood loss is restrained and haemostasis is achieved without the penalty of further tissue damage caused by unwarranted vascular occlusion. This brief review considers some of the ways in which thrombus growth and stability can be regulated so that an optimal platelet response can be achieved in vivo. Three related topics are considered. The first focuses on intracellular mechanisms that regulate the early events of platelet activation downstream of G protein coupled receptors for agonists such as thrombin, thromboxane A(2) and ADP. The second considers the ways in which signalling events that are dependent on stable contacts between platelets can influence the state of platelet activation and thus affect thrombus growth and stability. The third focuses on the changes that are experienced by platelets as they move from their normal environment in freely-flowing plasma to a very different environment within the growing haemostatic plug, an environment in which the narrowing gaps and junctions between platelets not only facilitate communication, but also increasingly limit both the penetration of plasma and the exodus of platelet-derived bioactive molecules.

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