There is an urgent need to understand the underlying mechanisms contributing to thrombotic and inflammatory complications during COVID-19. Data from independent groups have identified that platelets are hyperreactive during COVID-19. Platelet hyperreactivity is accompanied by changes in platelet gene expression, and enhanced interactions between platelets and leukocytes. In some patients, SARS-CoV-2 mRNA has been detected in platelets. Together, this suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may interact with platelets. However, controversy remains on which receptors mediate SARS-CoV-2 platelet interactions. Most, but not all, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses fail to observe the putative SARS-CoV-2 receptor, angiotensin converting enzyme-2, or the cellular serine protease necessary for viral entry, TMPRSS2, on platelets and megakaryocytes. Interestingly, platelets express other known SARS-CoV-2 receptors, which induce similar patterns of activation to those observed when platelets are incubated with SARS-CoV-2. This article explores these findings and discusses ongoing areas of controversy and uncertainty with regard to SARS-CoV-2 platelet interactions.
Keywords: ACE2; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; platelets; thrombosis.
© 2020 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.