, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 115–126

Platelets as a model for neurones?


  • M. Da Prada
    • Pharmaceutical Research DepartmentF. Hoffmann-La Roche & Co. Ltd.
  • A. M. Cesura
    • Department of PharmacologyUniversity of Milano
  • J. M. Launay
    • Laboratoire Central de BiochimieHôpital Saint Louis
  • J. G. Richards
    • Pharmaceutical Research DepartmentF. Hoffmann-La Roche & Co. Ltd.
Multi-author Review The Platelet in Pathophysiological Research

DOI: 10.1007/BF01952193

Cite this article as:
Da Prada, M., Cesura, A.M., Launay, J.M. et al. Experientia (1988) 44: 115. doi:10.1007/BF01952193


The multiple biochemical and pharmacological similarities existing between blood platelets and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)-containing neurones of the CNS point to the platelets as a reliable model for the biochemical characterization of 5-HT releasers and uptake blockers which interfere with the storage and the active carrier mechanism of 5-HT in the neurones, respectively. In addition, the affinity displayed by dopamine and by dopaminergic neurotoxin MPP+ for the platelet 5-HT transport and storage indicates also some similarities between platelets and the dopaminergic system of the CNS. Since human platelets contain almost exclusively monoamine oxidase type B (MAO-B), they can be used as a source for the purification and characterization of this human enzyme. Human platelets thus offer an excellent peripheral model to indirectly assess the degree and duration of MAO-B inhibition occurring in the CNS. To date, knowledge of the many biochemical mechanisms underlying platelet physiology is still fragmentary. In fact, the functional role of binding sites located on the platelet cytoplasmic membrane, i.e. their coupling to a specific transmembrane signalling mechanism, is still in need of a precise biochemical and physiological characterization.

Key words

5-HT releases monoamine oxidase type B 5-hydroxytryptamine 5-HT blockers platelet receptors MPTP MPP+ 5-HT storage Ro 19-6327

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1988