Flavonoids and platelet aggregation: A brief review
Platelets are small anucleated fragments derived from a megakaryocyte precursor. Platelets play a key role in many physiological functions especially in hemostasis and wound healing processes in order to maintain the integrity of the circulatory system. In addition, activated platelets release cytokines and chemokines which modulate the immune response and, in some cases of hyperactivation, they could be associated to the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases. Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds ubiquosly found in plants known to be potent antioxidants with positive effects against diverse diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative or cardiovascular disease. It has been reported that some flavonoids possess anti-platelet aggregation effects though different pathways, being the inhibition of the arachidonic acid-based pathway the most representative mechanism of action. In the present review, the main sources of flavonoids, as well as their bioavailability and metabolism are summarized. Moreover, the available data about the anti-aggregation effects of flavonoids and the different mechanisms of action that has been proposed until now are also discussed.