Semin Thromb Hemost
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1733960
Review Article

Platelet Behavior Contributes to Neuropathologies: A Focus on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease

1  Department of Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1 Matieland, South Africa
,
1  Department of Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1 Matieland, South Africa
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.

Abstract

The functions of platelets are broad. Platelets function in hemostasis and thrombosis, inflammation and immune responses, vascular regulation, and host defense against invading pathogens, among others. These actions are achieved through the release of a wide set of coagulative, vascular, inflammatory, and other factors as well as diverse cell surface receptors involved in the same activities. As active participants in these physiological processes, platelets become involved in signaling pathways and pathological reactions that contribute to diseases that are defined by inflammation (including by pathogen-derived stimuli), vascular dysfunction, and coagulation. These diseases include Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, the two most common neurodegenerative diseases. Despite their unique pathological and clinical features, significant shared pathological processes exist between these two conditions, particularly relating to a central inflammatory mechanism involving both neuroinflammation and inflammation in the systemic environment, but also neurovascular dysfunction and coagulopathy, processes which also share initiation factors and receptors. This triad of dysfunction—(neuro)inflammation, neurovascular dysfunction, and hypercoagulation—illustrates the important roles platelets play in neuropathology. Although some mechanisms are understudied in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, a strong case can be made for the relevance of platelets in neurodegeneration-related processes.

Authors' Contributions

M.J.P. wrote paper, prepared figures and tables; E.P. is the study leader and corresponding author. Both authors reviewed the manuscript.


* Dr Pretorius can also be contacted at http://www.resiapretorius.net/.




Publication History

Publication Date:
08 October 2021 (online)

© 2021. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.
333 Seventh Avenue, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10001, USA