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Groundbreaking research shows platelets can reproduce in circulation
Date:1/26/2010

ng. Decreased platelet counts can increase a person's risk for bleeding complications. Conversely, if platelet counts are too high or platelets inappropriately stick to one another, individuals may be at increased risk for vascular disorders such as heart attacks.

In additional studies conducted in cooperation with Robert C. Blaylock, M.D., medical director of transfusion services at the University of Utah and professor of pathology, the group found that platelets used for transfusion are also capable of generating new platelets, even after they are stored in bags for five days. This suggests that platelet numbers may be expanded after they are removed from the body, a finding that could have a significant impact on transfusion medicine.

"More research is needed to understand how platelets reproduce themselves and whether newly formed platelets are identical to, or distinct from, the platelets that are formed directly from their bone marrow precursors," says Weyrich, professor of internal and molecular medicine at the University of Utah's Eccles Institute of Human Genetics and corresponding author of the study. "Nevertheless, our findings identify a new function of platelets that has important bench-to-bedside implications."


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Contact: Phil Sahm
Phil.Sahm@hsc.utah.edu
801-581-2517
University of Utah Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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