Semin Thromb Hemost 2016; 42(03): 191-204
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1564835
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Platelet Physiology

Thomas Gremmel
1  Division of Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
2  Department of Internal Medicine II, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
,
Andrew L. Frelinger III
1  Division of Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
,
Alan D. Michelson
1  Division of Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
29 February 2016 (online)

Abstract

Platelets are the smallest blood cells, numbering 150 to 350 × 109/L in healthy individuals. The ability of activated platelets to adhere to an injured vessel wall and form aggregates was first described in the 19th century. Besides their long-established roles in thrombosis and hemostasis, platelets are increasingly recognized as pivotal players in numerous other pathophysiological processes including inflammation and atherogenesis, antimicrobial host defense, and tumor growth and metastasis. Consequently, profound knowledge of platelet structure and function is becoming more important in research and in many fields of modern medicine. This review provides an overview of platelet physiology focusing particularly on the structure, granules, surface glycoproteins, and activation pathways of platelets.