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J Thromb Haemost. 2017 Jul;15(7):1285-1294. doi: 10.1111/jth.13696.

von Willebrand factor and inflammation.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, UMR_S 1176, Univ. Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France.
Laboratory for Vascular Translational Science, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale Paris, UMR 1148, Paris, France.
Paris7 Denis Diderot University, Paris, France.


Von Willebrand factor (VWF) is a plasma glycoprotein best known for its crucial hemostatic role in serving as a molecular bridge linking platelets to subendothelial components following vascular injury. In addition, VWF functions as chaperone for coagulation factor VIII. In pathological settings, VWF is recognized as a risk factor for both arterial and venous thrombosis, as well as a molecular player that directly promotes the thrombotic process. Recent years have seen the emergence of the concept of immuno-thrombosis by which inflammatory cells participate in thrombotic processes. In return, reports about the involvement of hemostatic proteins or cells (such as platelets) in inflammatory responses have become increasingly common, emphasizing the intricate link between hemostasis and inflammation. However, evidence of a link between VWF and inflammation arose much earlier than these recent developments. At first, VWF was considered only as a marker of inflammation in various pathologies, due to its acute release by the activated endothelium. Later on, a more complex role of VWF in inflammation was uncovered, owing to its capacity to direct the biogenesis of specific endothelial organelles, the Weibel-Palade bodies that contain known inflammation players such as P-selectin. Finally, a more direct link between VWF and inflammation has become apparent with the discovery that VWF is able to recruit leukocytes, either via direct leukocyte binding or by recruiting platelets which in turn will attract leukocytes. This review will focus on these different aspects of the connection between VWF and inflammation, with particular emphasis on VWF-leukocyte interactions.


Weibel-Palade bodies; endothelium; inflammation; leukocytes; von Willebrand factor

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