Platelets: Angels and demons dancing on the immune stage. Nutrition conducts the orchestra

Thea Magrone, Manrico Magrone, Matteo Antonio Russo, Emilio Jirillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Platelets are cellular fragments derived from bone-marrow megacaryocytes and they are mostly involved in haemostasis and coagulation. However, according to recent data, platelets are able to perform novel immune functions. In fact, they possess a receptorial armamentarium on their membrane for interacting with innate and adaptive immune cells. In addition, platelets also secrete granules which contain cytokines and chemokines for activating and recruiting even distant immune cells.

OBJECTIVES: The participation of platelets in inflammatory processes will be discussed also in view of their dual role in terms of triggering or resolving inflammation. Involvement of platelets in disease will be illustrated, pointing to their versatile function to either up- or down-regulate pathological mechanisms. Finally, despite the availability of some anti-platelet agents, such as aspirin, dietary manipulation of platelet function is currently investigated. In this regard, special emphasis will be placed on dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and polyphenol effects on platelets.

CONCLUSION: Platelets play a dual role in inflammatory-immune-mediated diseases either activating or deactivating immune cells. Diet based on substances, such as omega-3 PUFAs and polyphenols, may act as a modulator of platelet function, even if more clinical trials are needed to corroborate such a contention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEndocrine, Metabolic and Immune Disorders - Drug Targets
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Sep 1 2020


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