The Contribution of Platelets to Stress-Related Cardiovascular Disease

  • J. M. Gerrard
  • D. A. Peterson
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 45)

Abstract

Platelets, small anucleated blood cells, have an important role in the genesis of cardiovascular disease. As part of the normal mechanism for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, platelets circulate in the blood stream ready to sense vascular injury and to coordinate any necessary repairs. It is in circumstances where a component of this repair process goes awry, or where repeated injury leads to inordinate degrees of damage and response in the vessel wall that cardiovascular disease tends to arise. Under conditions of stress a number of plasma constituents including catecholamines, von Willebrand factor, cholesterol and sometimes vasopressin may be raised and may contribute to an enhanced level of platelet responsiveness. This, together with other stress-associated changes, may be a significant contributor to the adverse effects of stress on the cardiovascular system. In this paper, I shall explore our current understanding of the role of platelets with emphasis on the influence of catecholamines and other stress related chemicals on the function of these cells.

Keywords

Cholesterol Dehydration Prostaglandin Norepinephrine Catecholamine 

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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, Boston 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Gerrard
  • D. A. Peterson

There are no affiliations available

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