Platelets, complement and tissue inflammation

Autoimmunity. 2013 Feb;46(1):1-5. doi: 10.3109/08916934.2012.722144. Epub 2012 Sep 17.


The release of immunoregulatory and inflammatory molecules following platelet activation has been invariably associated with the expression of tissue injury in several clinical conditions including trauma, organ transplantation, inflammatory bowel diseases and autoimmune diseases. We present a thorough review of the available information on the role of platelets and their interaction with complement cascade on the expression of tissue inflammation and organ damage. We propose that in autoimmune diseases and conditions associated with ischemia/reperfusion, platelets are decorated with complement, become activated and lodge tissues inappropriately to spread the inflammatory process. Interventions such as limiting complement decoration and suppression of signaling processes leading to platelet activation should be met with clinical benefit.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Blood Platelets / cytology
  • Blood Platelets / immunology*
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Platelet Activation / immunology


  • Complement System Proteins