New Insights into the Role of Erythrocytes in Thrombus Formation

Vivian X. Du*, Dana Huskens, Coen Maas, Raed Al Dieri, Philip G. de Groot, Bas de Laat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The role of erythrocytes in thrombus formation has previously been regarded as passive by their influence on rheology. Erythrocytes are known, due to their abundance and size, to push platelets to the vascular wall (laminar shearing). This results in an increased platelet delivery at the vascular wall enabling platelets to seal off a vascular damage preventing excessive blood loss. Recently, there is new evidence for erythrocytes to influence thrombus formation in multiple ways besides their effect on rheology. Several groups have shown that besides platelets, erythrocytes are the main suppliers of phosphatidylserine-exposing membranes needed for coagulation resulting in fibrin formation. In addition, our group has found that the intercellular adhesion molecule 4-(IIb3) interaction mediates erythrocyte-platelet interaction in flowing blood. By inhibiting this interaction, we found decreased thrombin formation and decreased incorporation of erythrocytes into a thrombus. This review will provide more in-detail information of existing and new hypotheses regarding the role of erythrocytes in thrombus formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-80
JournalSeminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • erythrocyte
  • thrombosis
  • hemostasis
  • coagulation
  • thrombin

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