Platelets as Modulators of Inflammation

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Platelets have classically been considered crucial effector cells in hemostasis, but now are increasingly recognized as players during inflammatory responses in innate and adaptive immunity. Platelets can recognize and kill invading pathogens, and, upon stimulation, also release a wide array of mediators that modify immune and endothelial cell responses. Increased platelet activity can protect the host against infectious insults; however, the excessive activity can lead to inflammation-mediated tissue damage. These critical roles highlight the necessity of balancing the platelet response at the intersection of hemostasis and inflammation. In this review, the authors present the current understanding of the inflammatory role of platelets. They also highlight recent findings on a modulator that links inflammation and deleterious tissue damage in disease pathogenesis.

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