Molecular Medicine Israel

Platelets Help Tackle Bacteria

The cell fragments play a role in the body’s first line of defense against bacterial infection, helping white blood cells grab blood-borne bacteria in the liver

Platelets, known for slowing bleeding upon injury, may also play a key role in immunity, according to a new study that found platelets in the livers of mice engulfed blood-borne bacteria, protecting the animals against microbial infection. Previous evidence showing that platelets express pathogen-combating receptors and can kill bacteria in vitro also supports this notion, but the new work “emphasizes that platelets play a day-to-day role in innate immune defense by helping remove bacteria in the liver,” said Steve Watson, a platelet cell biologist at the University of Birmingham, who did not participate in the research.

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