Insights into platelet-based control of coagulation

Susanne M. de Witt, Remco Verdoold, Judith M. E. M. Cosemans*, Johan W. M. Heemskerk

*Corresponding author for this work

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The coagulation process is activated by tight control mechanisms, in which platelets play prominent and unique roles. In thrombosis and hemostasis, activated platelets regulate the coagulation system in various ways: by exposing a phosphatidylserine surface for thrombin formation, by supporting fibrin formation, and by regulating the retraction of a fibrin clot. In this review we discuss the involvement of platelet receptors, other membrane proteins, downstream signaling proteins, cytoskeleton- linked proteins and plasma proteins in these procoagulant functions. Studies with both genetically modified mice and pharmacological inhibitors indicate that, for collagen- adhered platelets, in part common signaling pathways lead to phosphatidylserine exposure, generation of thrombin and fibrin, and retraction of the fibrin clot. However, prolonged Ca2+ elevation leads to thrombin generation, whereas integrin- dependent signaling stimulates fibrin clot retraction. Contact- dependent signaling pathways, triggered by homotypic platelet- platelet interactions, act in particular via the integrin route.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S139-S148
JournalThrombosis Research
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Clot retraction
  • Coagulation
  • Platelets
  • Procoagulant activity
  • Thrombus
  • Fibrin

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