New Insights on the Role of Platelet Microparticles in Atherothrombosis

Andromaxi A. Dimitriou, Constantinos C. Tellis, Alexandros D. Tselepis



Recent studies have shown that platelets, in addition to their central role in hemostasis and thrombosis, play an important role in atherogenesis. These cells secrete many bioactive agents whose role in atherogenesis remains under investigation. Several of these factors are secreted by platelets embedded in membrane vesicles known as platelet microparticles (PMPs). The PMPs are produced by activation of platelets and despite their small size have a high content of protein and lipids. The PMPs are involved in several pathophysiological conditions such as blood clotting, endothelial function, and inflammation, promoting the development of atherosclerosis. In this review, we introduce a brief description of PMPs mechanism of the production, and the structural characteristics. Furthermore, in this article we describe the interaction of PMPs with other cells of the arterial wall and their role in thrombosis, inflammation and atherogenesis. The knowledge of the biochemical characteristics of PMPs and the understanding of the mechanisms of their actions can lead to further consideration of the antiplatelet drugs’ effect in atherothrombosis, and the development of new therapeutic interventions, aiming not only to reduce plaque but also to prevent atherosclerosis.

Keywords: Platelets, atherogenesis, platelet microparticles, inflammation, thrombosis, PMPs