Platelets: no longer bystanders in liver disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Growing lines of evidence recognize platelets as central players in liver homeostasis and pathobiology. Platelets have important roles at every stage during the continuum of liver injury and healing. These cells contribute to the initiation of liver inflammation by promoting leukocyte recruitment via sinusoidal endothelium. They can activate effector cells thus amplifying liver damage and by modifying the hepatic cellular and cytokine milieu drive both hepatoprotective and hepatotoxic processes. In this review we summarize how platelets drive such pleiotropic actions and attempt to reconcile the paradox of platelets being both deleterious and beneficial to liver function. With increasingly novel methods of manipulating platelet function at our disposal, we highlight avenues for future therapeutic intervention in liver disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1774–1784
Issue number5
Early online date7 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2016


  • Hepatic inflammation, hepatitis, liver fibrosis, leukocyte recruitment, platelets