Platelet ad hesion receptors and (patho)physiological thrombus formation

  • Robert K. Andrews
  • Y. Shen
  • E. E. Gardiner
  • M. C. Berndt
Keywords: glycoprotein Ib-IX-V, Platelets, Thrombosis, von Willebrand factor


In thrombus formation associated with hemostasis or thrombotic disease, blood platelets first undergo a rapid transition from a circulating state to an adherent state, followed by activation and aggregation. Under flow conditions in the bloodstream, this process potentially involves platelet-platelet, plateletendothelium, platelet-subendothelial matrix, and platelet-leukocyte interactions. Specific adhesion receptors on platelets mediate these interactions, by engaging counter-receptors on other cells, or noncellular ligands in the plasma or matrix. The glycoprotein (GP) Ib-IX-V complex on platelets initiates adhesion at high shear stress by binding the adhesive ligand, von Willebrand Factor (vWF). GP Ib-IX-V may also mediate platelet-endothelium or platelet-leukocyte adhesion, by recognition of P-selectin or Mac-1, respectively. Other membrane glycoproteins, such as the collagen receptor GP VI, may trigger platelet activation at low shear rates. Engagement of GP Ib-IX-V or GP VI leads ultimately to platelet aggregation mediated by the integrin, αIIbβ3 (GP IIb-IIIa). This review will focus on recent advances in understanding structure-activity relationships of GP Ib-IX-V, its role in initiating thrombus formation, and its emerging relationships with other vascular cell adhesion receptors.