The role of platelets in inflammation

Thromb Haemost. 2015 Aug 31;114(3):449-58. doi: 10.1160/TH14-12-1067. Epub 2015 Aug 13.


There is growing recognition of the critical role of platelets in inflammation and immune responses. Recent studies have indicated that antiplatelet medications may reduce mortality from infections and sepsis, which suggests possible clinical relevance of modifying platelet responses to inflammation. Platelets release numerous inflammatory mediators that have no known role in haemostasis. Many of these mediators modify leukocyte and endothelial responses to a range of different inflammatory stimuli. Additionally, platelets form aggregates with leukocytes and form bridges between leukocytes and endothelium, largely mediated by platelet P-selectin. Through their interactions with monocytes, neutrophils, lymphocytes and the endothelium, platelets are therefore important coordinators of inflammation and both innate and adaptive immune responses.

Keywords: Platelets; immune response; infection; inflammation; thrombosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood Platelets / drug effects
  • Blood Platelets / immunology
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Cell Communication
  • Communicable Diseases / blood
  • Communicable Diseases / immunology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood*
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood*
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / blood
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Platelet Adhesiveness
  • Platelet Aggregation
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Signal Transduction


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors