Platelets have important roles in atherosclerosis and thrombosis and their inhibition reduces the risk of these disorders. There is still a need for platelet inhibitors affecting pathways that reduce thrombosis and atherosclerosis while leaving normal hemostasis relatively unaffected, thus reducing possible bleeding complications. Although combinations show progress in achieving these goals none of the present inhibitors completely fulfill these requirements. Collagen receptors offer attractive possibilities as alternative targets at early stages in platelet activation. Three major collagen receptors are assessed in this review; the α2β1 integrin, responsible primarily for platelet adhesion to collagen; GPVI, the major signaling receptor for collagen; and GPIb-V-IX, which is indirectly a collagen receptor via von Willebrand factor. Several thrombosis models and experimental approaches suggest that all three are interesting targets and merit further investigation.
Keywords: thrombosis, platelet activation, collagen interactions, Glycoprotein VI, von Willebrand factor
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