Autophagy pp 511-528 | Cite as

Autophagy in Platelets

  • Meenakshi Banerjee
  • Yunjie Huang
  • Madhu M. Ouseph
  • Smita Joshi
  • Irina Pokrovskaya
  • Brian Storrie
  • Jinchao Zhang
  • Sidney W. Whiteheart
  • Qing Jun WangEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1880)


Anucleate platelets are produced by fragmentation of megakaryocytes. Platelets circulate in the bloodstream for a finite period: upon vessel injury, they are activated to participate in hemostasis; upon senescence, unused platelets are cleared. Platelet hypofunction leads to bleeding. Conversely, pathogenic platelet activation leads to occlusive events that precipitate strokes and heart attacks. Recently, we and others have shown that autophagy occurs in platelets and is important for platelet production and normal functions including hemostasis and thrombosis. Due to the unique properties of platelets, such as their lack of nuclei and their propensity for activation, methods for studying platelet autophagy must be specifically tailored. Here, we describe useful methods for examining autophagy in both human and mouse platelets.

Key words

Platelets Autophagy Hemostasis Live imaging Electron microscopy 



The authors thank the laboratory personnel and collaborators who conducted the research on platelet autophagy over the years. The authors thank Dr. Zhenyu Li for helpful discussion. The authors also thank Dr. Harry Chanzu and Laura Tichachek for their careful perusal of this manuscript. This work was supported by a New Scholar in Aging award from the Ellison Medical Foundation (to Q.J.W.), Grant-in-Aid awards from the American Heart Association (AHA16GRNT31310020 to Q.J.W. and AHA16GRNT27620001 to S.W.W.), Predoctoral Fellowships from the American Heart Association (AHA 15PRE25550020 to S.J. and AHA 11PRE7500051 to Y.H.), National Institutes of Health (HL56652 and HL138179 to S.W.W., HL119393 to B.S.), and a Veterans Affairs Merit Award (to S.W.W.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meenakshi Banerjee
    • 1
  • Yunjie Huang
    • 2
  • Madhu M. Ouseph
    • 3
  • Smita Joshi
    • 1
  • Irina Pokrovskaya
    • 4
  • Brian Storrie
    • 4
  • Jinchao Zhang
    • 1
  • Sidney W. Whiteheart
    • 1
  • Qing Jun Wang
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Molecular and Cellular BiochemistryUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Pulmonary MedicineCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA
  5. 5.Department of Ophthalmology and Visual SciencesUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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