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Leukocyte Trafficking in Homeostasis and Disease

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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.02712

Role of platelets in leukocyte recruitment and resolution of inflammation

  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Universität Münster, Germany

Platelets are most often recognized for their crucial role for the control of acute hemorrhage. However, current research has greatly expanded the appreciation of platelets beyond their contribution to primary hemostasis, indicating that platelets also actively participate in leukocyte recruitment and the regulation of the host defense in response to exogenous pathogens and sterile injuries. Early recruitment of leukocytes, especially neutrophils, is the evolutionary stronghold of the innate immune response to successfully control exogenous infections. Platelets have been shown to physically interact with different leukocyte subsets during inflammatory processes. This interaction holds far-reaching implications for the leukocyte recruitment into peripheral tissues as well as the regulation of leukocyte cell autonomous functions, including the formation and liberation of neutrophil extracellular traps. These functions critically depend on the interaction of platelets with leukocytes. The host immune response and leukocyte recruitment have to be tightly regulated to avoid excessive tissue and organ damage and to avoid chronification of inflammation. Thus, platelet-leukocyte interactions and the resulting leukocyte activation and recruitment also underlies tight regulation by several inherited feedback mechanisms to limit the extend of vascular inflammation and to protect the host from collateral damage caused by overshooting immune system activation. After the acute inflammatory phase has been overcome the host defense response must eventually be terminated to allow for resolution from inflammation and restoration of tissue and organ function. Besides their essential role for leukocyte recruitment and the initiation and propagation of vascular inflammation, platelets have lately also been implicated in the resolution process. Here, their contribution to phagocyte clearance, T-cell recruitment and macrophage reprogramming is also of outmost importance. This review will focus on the role of platelets in leukocyte recruitment during the initiation of the host defense and we will also discuss the participation of platelets in the resolution process after acute inflammation.

Keywords: Platelets, Leukocytes, Inflammation, Resolution, leukocyte, Platelet, Inflammation, Resolution

Received: 28 Aug 2018; Accepted: 02 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Joaquin Teixidó, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Spain

Reviewed by:

Philipp Von Hundelshausen, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
Krishna Rajarathnam, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Zarbock. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Alexander Zarbock, Universität Münster, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Münster, 48149, Germany,