Platelet-mediated modulation of adaptive immunity. A communication link between innate and adaptive immune compartments

Immunity. 2003 Jul;19(1):9-19. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(03)00177-8.


Platelets are highly reactive components of the circulatory system with well-documented hemostatic function. Recent studies extend platelet function to modulation of local inflammatory events through the release of chemokines, cytokines, and a number of immunomodulatory ligands, including CD154. We hypothesized that platelet-derived CD154 modulates adaptive immunity. The data reported herein demonstrate that platelets, via CD154, induce dendritic cell maturation, B cell isotype switching, and augment CD8(+) T cell responses both in vitro and in vivo. Platelet transfusion studies demonstrate that platelet-derived CD154 alone is sufficient to induce isotype switching and augment T lymphocyte function during viral infection, leading to enhanced protection against viral rechallenge. Additionally, depletion of platelets in normal mice results in decreased antigen-specific antibody production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adenoviridae / immunology
  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets / physiology*
  • CD40 Ligand / blood
  • CD40 Ligand / physiology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Virus Diseases / immunology


  • CD40 Ligand