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Interleukin 1 (IL-1) plays a central role in the regulation of the body's response to infectious and inflammatory stimuli. Recent evidence has shown that human platelets express a cell associated form of this proinflammatory cytokine very rapidly following activation. Since one of the earliest events in inflammation is frequently the rapid adhesion of platelets to injured endothelium, it was of interest to determine whether platelets express IL-1 in a functionally relevant form that can alter the phenotype of human endothelial cells in vitro. Thrombin activated platelets induced significant expression of the adhesion molecule intercellular adhesion molecule 1, as well as secretion of the IL-1 inducible cytokines IL-6 and granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor by cultured human umbilical cord and saphenous vein endothelial cells. This was inhibited by prior treatment of the platelets with antibody specific for IL-1. These results suggest that platelet delivered IL-1 might initiate and regulate some of the earliest phases of the inflammatory response. An additional observation of interest was differential induction of endothelial leucocyte adhesion molecule 1 by activated platelets on saphenous vein but not umbilical vein but not umbilical vein endothelial cells, which suggests functional heterogeneity of the endothelial cells.

Original publication




Journal article


J Exp Med

Publication Date





785 - 790


Adult, Animals, Antigens, CD, Blood Platelets, Cell Adhesion Molecules, Cell Division, Cells, Cultured, Cytokines, DNA Replication, Endothelium, Vascular, Humans, In Vitro Techniques, Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1, Interleukin-1, Saphenous Vein, Umbilical Veins