Activated Platelets Induce an Anti-Inflammatory Response of Monocytes/Macrophages through Cross-Regulation of PGE 2 and Cytokines

Mediators Inflamm. 2017;2017:1463216. doi: 10.1155/2017/1463216. Epub 2017 May 16.


Platelets are well known for their role in hemostasis and are also increasingly recognized for their roles in the innate immune system during inflammation and their regulation of macrophage activation. Here, we aimed to study the influence of platelets on the production of inflammatory mediators by monocytes and macrophages. Analyzing cocultures of platelets and murine bone marrow-derived macrophages or human monocytes, we found that collagen-activated platelets release high amounts of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) that leads to an increased interleukin- (IL-) 10 release and a decreased tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α secretion out of the monocytes or macrophages. Platelet PGE2 mediated the upregulation of IL-10 in both cell types via the PGE2 receptor EP2. Notably, PGE2-mediated IL-10 synthesis was also mediated by EP4 in murine macrophages. Inhibition of TNFα synthesis via EP2 and EP4, but not EP1, was mediated by IL-10, since blockade of the IL-10 receptor abolished the inhibitory effect of both receptors on TNFα release. This platelet-mediated cross-regulation between PGE2 and cytokines reveals one mechanism how monocytes and macrophages can attenuate excessive inflammatory responses induced by activated platelets in order to limit inflammatory processes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Prostaglandin E, EP2 Subtype / genetics
  • Receptors, Prostaglandin E, EP2 Subtype / metabolism*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Receptors, Prostaglandin E, EP2 Subtype
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-10