Platelets and the immune continuum

Nat Rev Immunol. 2011 Apr;11(4):264-74. doi: 10.1038/nri2956.


Platelets are anucleate cells that are crucial mediators of haemostasis. Most immunologists probably don't think about platelets every day, and may even consider these cells to be 'nuisances' in certain in vitro studies. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that platelets have inflammatory functions and can influence both innate and adaptive immune responses. Here, we discuss the mechanisms by which platelets contribute to immunity: these small cells are more immunologically savvy than we once thought.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / immunology
  • Birds / immunology
  • Blood Platelets / cytology
  • Blood Platelets / immunology*
  • Blood Platelets / physiology
  • Communicable Diseases / immunology
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Hematopoiesis / immunology
  • Hemostasis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Platelet Count
  • Toll-Like Receptors / immunology


  • Cytokines
  • Toll-Like Receptors