Inflammation of the vascular wall is considered as the principal underlying mechanism in the development of
atherosclerosis. Besides their specific functions in haemostasis via thrombus formation after an endothelial injury, a growing
body of evidence indicates that platelets play an important role in the inflammatory reactions occurring in the vascular
wall as well as in the subsequent tissue repair mechanisms. Platelets interact with activated endothelium as well as with
circulating leukocytes and progenitor cells. These interactions, involve direct cell-to-cell interactions as well as autocrine
and paracrine pathways, which lead to activation of platelets and their respective cellular counterpart. An increasing body
of evidence suggests that antiplatelet therapy may reduce vascular inflammation primarily by inhibiting platelet activation.
The aim of the present review is to highlight the molecular basis of platelet-mediated inflammatory response, focusing on
the mechanisms underlying the platelet-endothelial cell interaction. The anti-inflammatory effects of current antiplatelet
therapies will be also discussed.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, endothelium, inflammation, leukocytes, platelets, acute coronary syndromes, myocardial infarction, ischaemic stroke, peripheral artery disease
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport