During the past decade it has become increasingly clear that platelets exert important functions in the context of inflammation, beyond their role in hemostasis. Platelets may adhere to intact endothelial cells and promote local vascular inflammation by recruiting leukocytes via direct interactions or by secreting inflammatory mediators such as chemokines. Accordingly, platelet-derived chemokines play a crucial role in directing leukocytes to sites of vascular injury or dysfunction, thereby contributing to neointimal hyperplasia or atherosclerosis. In this review, we discuss the function of platelets as immune cells that potentiate vascular inflammation with a special focus on platelet-derived chemokines: their effects and interactions and their potential quality as targets for the treatment and/or prevention of cardiovascular disease.
- Blood Platelets/immunology
- Blood Vessels/pathology