Platelet Function in Cardiovascular Disease: Activation of Molecules and Activation by Molecules

Cardiovasc Toxicol. 2020 Feb;20(1):1-10. doi: 10.1007/s12012-019-09555-4.


Globally, one of the major causes of death is the cardiovascular disease (CVD), and platelets play an important role in thrombosis and atherosclerosis that led to death. Platelet activation can be done by different molecules, genes, pathways, and chemokines. Lipids activate platelets by inflammatory factors, and platelets are activated by receptors of peptide hormones, signaling and secreted proteins, microRNAs (miRNAs), and oxidative stress which also affect the platelet activation in older age. In addition, surface molecules on platelets can interact with other cells and chemokines in activated platelets and cause inflammation thrombosis events and CVD. However, these molecules activating platelets or being activated by platelets can be suggested as the markers to predict the clinical outcome of CVD and can be targeted to reduce thrombosis and atherosclerosis. However, hindering these molecules by other factors such as genes and receptors can reduce platelet activation and aggregation and targeting these molecules can control platelet interactions, thrombosis, and CVD. In addition, dual therapy with the receptor blockers and novel drugs results in better management of CVD patients. Overall, our review will emphasize on the molecules involved in the activation of platelets and on the molecules that are activated by platelets in CVD and discuss the molecules that can be blocked or targeted to reduce the thrombosis events and control CVD.

Keywords: Activation; Cardiovascular disease; Molecules; Platelet.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets / drug effects*
  • Blood Platelets / immunology
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Platelet Activation / drug effects*
  • Platelet Aggregation / drug effects
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors