Response to JAMA article“Platelets’ Role in Adaptive Immunity May Contribute to Sepsis and Shock” by Tracy Hampton, PhD
In the April 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Tracy Hampton PhD summarized a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Eric Boilard PhD from Quebec, discovering an unappreciated role of platelets in the human immune response. See attached, “Platelets’ Role in Adaptive Immunity May Contribute to Sepsis and Shock”.
Human platelets, unlike for instance platelets in mice, have an IgG receptor on them for antibodies. Thus, human platelets are activated in response to infections in which there are a lot of circulating antibodies. We have known that platelets are bactericidal, killing bacteria upon contact, but the fact that they respond to IgG antibodies means they are involved in a more coordinated response to infections, including systemic infections. Specifically, in response to infections, platelets can release their granules and drive systemic vasodilation and a drop in blood pressure. The exact purpose of this is unknown, but possibly a reduction of blood pressure at the site of injury and infection could reduce the spread of infection.
Dr. Bodor commented that the fundamental role of platelets in the immune response bodes well for regenerative procedures, such as disc injections using platelet rich plasma (PRP). “When diagnosing and treating disc problems, there is always a fear of discitis or a disc infection occurring. It is great that platelets are capable of preventing and fighting infections, because that provides an extra level of safety when performing these procedures.”
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