Our understanding of platelet function has traditionally focused on their roles in physiological hemostasis and pathological thrombosis, with the latter being causative of vessel occlusion and subsequent ischemic damage to various tissues. In particular, numerous in vivo studies have implicated causative roles for platelets in the pathogenesis of ischemia- reperfusion (I/R) injury to the myocardium. However, platelets clearly have more complex pathophysiological roles, particularly as a result of the heterogeneous nature of biologically active cargo secreted from their granules or contained within released microparticles or exosomes. While some of these released mediators amplify platelet activation and thrombosis through autocrine or paracrine amplification pathways, they can also regulate diverse cellular functions within the localized microenvironment and recruit progenitor cells to the damage site to facilitate repair processes. Notably, there is evidence to support cardioprotective roles for platelet mediators during I/R injury. As such, it is becoming more widely appreciated that platelets fulfill a host of physiological and pathological roles beyond our basic understanding. Therefore, the purpose of this perspective is to consider whether platelets, through their released mediators, can assume a paradoxically beneficial role to promote cardiac recovery after I/R injury.
- Cardiac recovery
- Myocardial infarction