Clinical Reviews in Allergy

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 191–210 | Cite as

Platelets in Allergy

Assays and Interpretation
  • Michel Joseph
The Use and role of the Laboratory


Since 1983, when we reported the first model of antiparasite activity by platelets, five different triggering processes have been described that induce these blood elements into the role of efficient killers of pathogens. Besides endogenous compounds, such as specific IgE antibodies, inflammatory CRP, IFNT, and a second stimulating lymphokine, provisionally termed PCIF, exogenous chemAcals have also been shown to express unexpected activating properties on uncommon platelet populations or in particular situations: aspirin and NSAID on platelets from asthmatics, and DEC on platelets from patients with filariasis. These various stimuli probably triggered thrombocytes by different pathways, but achieved a common result: the generation of cytocidal molecules. A general feature of the stimulating signals was apparently to induce cytotoxic properties without aggregation, suggesting that they triggered a platelet compartment that was not involved in classical activation by aggregating agents such as thrombine, adenosine diphosphate, or platelet-activating factor-acether. The hypothesis remains that the killing capacities of platelets were supported by specific subpopulations, either working on their own, or producing secondary mediators for the general participation of nonresponding platelet populations.

These results are clear evidence for the integration of platelets into the complex network of cell interactions of various immunologic and inflammatory disorders. If their direct involvement in physiopathology is to be clarified by a precise identification of the mediators secreted in each situation, the stimulating parameters demonstrated in vitro open new diagnostic possibilities, which have now to be adapted to more general use in laboratories, with easier analysis than parasite cytotoxicity and oxygen-dependent chemiluminescence. The investigators of our group, who have combined their efforts in obtaining the present results, are convinced that the new functions described here for platelets will be of great help, together with the growing knowledge of the other cells involved (61), in arriving at a full understanding of inflammatory and allergic reactions. The illustration of such a concept was the aim of this review.


Clinical Review Schistosomiasis Filariasis Sodium Salicylate Normal Platelet 
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Copyright information

© The Humana Press, Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel Joseph
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre d’lmmunologie et de Biologie Parasitaire, Unité mixte Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale ( INSERM) 167-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique ( CNRS) 624Institut PasteurLilleFrance

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