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Platelets – an important element of the immune system

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Platelets are anucleate cells derived from the megakaryocyte series, and have long been considered only as cells responsible for coagulation and the fibrinolysis process. However, recently more data shows that they are also effector cells in the inflammatory response and important elements of the immunological response. Platelets store and release many biologically active substances, including growth factors, cytokines and chemokines (tab. 1), which actively affect i.a. elements of the immune system, and thus become regulators of immunity and mediators of inflammatory response. Their impact on the immune system cells is also associated with the induction of leucocytes and progenitor cells to the site of pathogen permeation or vascular injury inflow, as well as endothelial cells. Interacting with neutrophils, monocytes and lymphocytes, they not only activate them, but also form platelet-leukocyte aggregates that immobilise pathogens and prevent their spreading. Furthermore, platelets are capable of absorbing pathogens, affecting anti-infection immunity of the system. It is also assumed that the presence of receptors on their surface, such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs), affects their initiation and activity of the immunological response.
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  • Department of Immunology, University of Szczecin, Felczaka 3c, 71-412 Szczecin, Poland
  • Department of Immunology, University of Szczecin, Felczaka 3c, 71-412 Szczecin, Poland
  • Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology University of Szczecin, Felczaka 3c, 71-412 Szczecin, Poland
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