Translational implications of platelets as vascular first responders

Richard C. Becker, Travis Sexton, Susan S. Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Platelets play a vital role in normal hemostasis to stem blood loss at sites of vascular injury by tethering and adhering to sites of injury, recruiting other platelets and blood cells to the developing clot, releasing vasoactive small molecules and proteins, and assembling and activating plasma coagulation proteins in a tightly regulated temporal and spatial manner. In synchrony with specific end products of coagulation, primarily cross-linked fibrin, a stable thrombus quickly forms. Far beyond physiological hemostasis and pathological thrombosis, emerging evidence supports platelets playing a pivotal role in vascular homeostasis, inflammation, cellular repair, regeneration, and wide range of autocrine and paracrine functions. In essence, platelets play both structural and functional roles as reporters, messengers, and active transporters surveying the vasculature for cues of environmental or developmental stimuli and participating as first responders.1 In this review, we will provide a contemporary perspective of platelet physiology, including fundamental, translational, and clinical constructs that apply directly to human health and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-522
Number of pages17
JournalCirculation Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported, in part, by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, through UL1 TR001998, and the Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, through R01 HL120507. This material is also based on work supported, in part, by resources at the Lexington VA Medical Center. This work was supported by the Translational Research Centers for Thrombosis and Hemostasis Disorders National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 4U54HLC112307-05 and a Strategic Focused Research Networks grant from the American Heart Association 15SFRN24110000. This work is also supported by resources at the University of Cincinnati Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute.

Funding Information:
R.C. Becker was supported by National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) grant 4U54HLC112307-05 and American Heart Association grant 15SFRN24110000. S.S. Smyth was supported by National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through UL1 TR001998 and the NHLBI through R01 HL120507.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.


  • Blood platelets
  • Fibrin
  • Humans
  • Platelet activation
  • Thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Translational implications of platelets as vascular first responders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this