The non-haemostatic role of platelets in systemic lupus erythematosus

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Dysregulation of lymphocyte function, accumulation of autoantibodies and defective clearance of circulating immune complexes and apoptotic cells are hallmarks of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Moreover, it is now evident that an intricate interplay between the adaptive and innate immune systems contributes to the pathogenesis of SLE, ultimately resulting in chronic inflammation and organ damage. Platelets circulate in the blood and are chiefly recognized for their role in the prevention of bleeding and promotion of haemostasis; however, accumulating evidence points to a role for platelets in both adaptive and innate immunity. Through a broad repertoire of receptors, platelets respond promptly to immune complexes, complement and damage-associated molecular patterns, and represent a major reservoir of immunomodulatory molecules in the circulation. Furthermore, evidence suggests that platelets are activated in patients with SLE, and that they could contribute to the circulatory autoantigenic load through the release of microparticles and mitochondrial antigens. Herein, we highlight how platelets contribute to the immune response and review evidence implicating platelets in the pathogenesis of SLE.


External organisations
  • Laval University
  • University of Washington
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-213
JournalNature Reviews Rheumatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 21
Publication categoryResearch