Megakaryocytes and Platelets in Immune and Inflammatory Responses and in COVID-19

Platelets—small cells which circulate in abundance in the bloodstream—are traditionally known for their ability to form clots and stop bleeding. Recent studies, however, have shown that platelets and their parent cells, megakaryocytes, also play a role in inflammation and infection. University of Utah Health investigators Robert Campbell, PhD, and Matthew Rondina, MD, and colleagues discovered that platelets and megakaryocytes respond robustly to infection, including COVID-19. These infection-driven changes in platelets activate clotting mechanisms and thus may contribute to the blood clots that complicate COVID-19 infection. Continue reading → Megakaryocytes and Platelets in Immune and Inflammatory Responses and in COVID-19

The Power of mRNA in Anucleate Platelets

Andrew Weyrich, MD, and his group made the seminal discovery that anucleate human platelets transform messenger RNA (mRNA) into mature products that code for protein. More recently, his group found that a specific type of microRNAs (Dicer1-dependent) and their precursors (megakaryocytes) modulate the expression of target mRNAs important for cellular function. Continue reading → The Power of mRNA in Anucleate Platelets