Galectins in the Regulation of Platelet Biology
Platelets are anucleated blood cells derived from megakaryocytes, and although they are essential for proper hemostasis, their function extends to physiologic processes such as tissue repair, wound remodeling, and antimicrobial host defense, or pathologic conditions such as thrombosis, atherosclerosis, chronic inflammatory diseases, and cancer. Recently, we demonstrated that two structurally divergent members of the galectin family, galectin-1 and galectin-8, are potent platelet agonists. The emergence of galectins as soluble mediators capable of triggering platelet activation opens a new field of research that will provide further insights into the mechanisms linking inflammatory responses to thrombus formation and could expand our view of the role of platelets much beyond hemostasis to their pathophysiologic role during inflammation and cancer. The present article details the various protocols and reagents currently used in our laboratory to study the role of galectins in human platelet function.
Key wordsPlatelets Galectins Glycobiology P-selectin Thromboxane A2 Inflammation Platelet aggregation Adhesion Hemostasis Thrombosis
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