Physiology pp 237-266 | Cite as


  • John E. Kaplan
  • Dudley G. Moon


The importance of the RES in regulating blood platelet dynamics is well established. Upon review of the pertinent literature, however, much of the evidence supporting the interaction between platelets and the RES is found to be indirect. There are relatively few comprehensive studies of the physiological mechanisms underlying the removal of senescent, damaged, and altered platelets. The need to understand these mechanisms has been most apparent in the clinical management of thrombocytopenic and hypersplenic syndromes in which excess platelet destruction has been implicated. Thus, a large number of studies have been performed concerning the survival of platelets in these syndromes. Most of the current knowledge of platelet recognition and removal by the RES derives from such studies. This review will begin with a discussion of phagocytosis of platelets in the hypersplenic/thrombocytopenic, normal, and thrombotic states. The mechanisms of recognition of platelets by the RES will be considered particularly in the context of alterations which enhance platelet removal. Next, the literature indicating that platelets interact directly with circulating microparticulates will be reviewed. Evidence will be presented that platelets may be phagocytic in their own right and may augment RES phagocytosis by virtue of their ability to agglutinate foreign particulates. Following this will be a consideration of RES clearance of proaggregatory agents. Finally, the most recent advances in our understanding of potential platelet-macrophage interactions will be reviewed. Both platelets and macrophages participate in inflammation and tissue repair. Evidence now suggests that platelets are also involved in immune reactions. Since platelets and macrophages react with and release a number of common mediators, it seems quite reasonable that they might modulate one another’s function. Before proceeding, a brief discussion of platelet morphology and physiology is in order. More extensive reviews of this aspect are available (Zucker, 1980; Holmsen et al., 1977; Day et al., 1978; de Gaetano and Garattini, 1978).


Sialic Acid Human Platelet Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura Blood Platelet Plasma Fibronectin 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • John E. Kaplan
    • 1
  • Dudley G. Moon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyAlbany Medical College of Union UniversityAlbanyUSA

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