Beyond Thrombosis: the Role of Platelets in Pulmonary Hypertension
Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) is a multifactorial and lethal disease, characterised by elevated pulmonary arterial pressure and progressive right heart failure. PH pathobiology rests on four pillars: vascular remodelling, vasoconstriction, inflammation and thrombosis. While vascular and inflammatory cells have been the focus of PH research over the past decades, platelets have received relatively less attention, despite their associations with key pathophysiological processes of the disease. Platelets contain a wide range of vasoactive, inflammatory and pro-thrombotic mediators, likely to promote PH development and progression. There is currently no cure for PH, and platelet-associated pathways may help identify new therapeutic strategies. This review summarises available evidence on the role of platelets in different forms of PH, and comments on the current state of platelet-targeting therapies. It also describes the latest advances in the in vitro technologies that enable exploration of platelet function under dynamic and physiologically relevant conditions.
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