Platelet-based coagulation: different populations, different functions

J. W. M. Heemskerk*, N. J. A. Mattheij, J. M. E. M. Cosemans

*Corresponding author for this work

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Platelets in a thrombus interact with (anti)coagulation factors and support blood coagulation. In the concept of cell-based control of coagulation, three different roles of platelets can be distinguished: control of thrombin generation, support of fibrin formation, and regulation of fibrin clot retraction. Here, we postulate that different populations of platelets with distinct surface properties are involved in these coagulant functions. Platelets with elevated Ca2+ and exposed phosphatidylserine control thrombin and fibrin generation, while platelets with activated aIIb beta 3 regulate clot retraction. We review how coagulation factor binding depends on the platelet activation state. Furthermore, we discuss the ligands, platelet receptors and downstream intracellular signaling pathways implicated in these coagulant functions. These insights lead to an adapted model of platelet-based coagulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-16
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • coagulation factors
  • clot retraction
  • fibrin formation
  • platelet receptors
  • procoagulant activity
  • thrombin generation

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