Platelets are not just for clots

Transfus Med Rev. 2015 Apr;29(2):110-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tmrv.2014.11.006. Epub 2015 Jan 12.


Although the role of platelets as central mediators of hemostasis and thrombosis has been the primary focus of research into platelet biology for more than a century, over the last decade, nonhemostatic functions of platelets have been increasingly defined. As such, a large body of experimental evidence now exists, which places the platelet as a key player in mediating a diverse range of immune, inflammatory, and malignant disease processes. This review outlines the central mechanisms that underpin the nonhemostatic role of platelets and provides a summary of evidence demonstrating a role for platelets in mediating selected inflammatory, immune, and malignant disease processes.

Keywords: Cancer; Inflammation; Leukocytes; Platelets; Thrombosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology
  • Blood Platelets / immunology
  • Blood Platelets / physiology*
  • CD40 Antigens / physiology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Hemostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiology*
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*
  • Leukocytes / physiology
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Receptors, Fc / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptors / immunology
  • Transfusion Reaction / physiopathology


  • CD40 Antigens
  • Receptors, Fc
  • Toll-Like Receptors