Objectives: This review summarizes recent developments in platelet biology relevant to neuroinflammatory disorders. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is taken as the "Poster Child" of these disorders but the implications are wide. The role of platelets in inflammation is well appreciated in the cardiovascular and cancer research communities but appears to be relatively neglected in neurological research.
Organization: After a brief introduction to platelets, topics covered include the matrix metalloproteinases, platelet chemokines, cytokines and growth factors, the recent finding of platelet PPAR receptors and Toll-like receptors, complement, bioactive lipids, and other agents/functions likely to be relevant in neuroinflammatory diseases. Each section cites literature linking the topic to areas of active research in MS or other disorders, including especially Alzheimer's disease.
Conclusion: The final section summarizes evidence of platelet involvement in MS. The general conclusion is that platelets may be key players in MS and related disorders, and warrant more attention in neurological research.