Superactivated Platelets: Thrombus Regulators, Thrombin Generators, and Potential Clinical Targets

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Abstract

Platelets contribute to hemostasis by forming the platelet plug and then contributing to coagulation by providing a catalytic surface where thrombin generation occurs efficiently. This catalytic activity, known as the platelet procoagulant response, is being recognized as a nuanced response. This review examines platelets’ response to strong stimuli, which results in the formation of a platelet subpopulation (superactivated platelets) with several unique properties, including enhanced procoagulant activity. These platelets contribute uniquely to thrombus architecture and seem to have thrombus regulatory activity. Superactivated platelets’ role in diseases of thrombosis and hemostasis, as either potentiating or mitigating factors, is not currently known, but may be an important pharmacological target.

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