Research ArticleFibrosis

Platelet microparticles sustain autophagy-associated activation of neutrophils in systemic sclerosis

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Science Translational Medicine  25 Jul 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 451, eaao3089
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao3089

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Platelets nurture neutrophil damage

Systemic sclerosis, or scleroderma, is a complicated inflammatory fibrotic disease involving multiple organs. Different immune cells contribute to the pathology of systemic sclerosis. Maugeri et al. investigated mechanisms that could contribute to endothelial damage in patients. They observed that activated platelets from patients produced microparticles that induced neutrophil activation, including autophagy and neutrophil extracellular trap production. These microparticles expressed the damage-associated molecular pattern HMGB1, and accordingly, an HMGB1 inhibitor prevented this neutrophil activiation. Inhibiting microparticles to interrupt this platelet-neutrophil axis may be helpful to prevent endothelial damage, thereby disrupting disease pathogenesis.