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Reported September 4, 2013

New Platelet Function Found

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Platelets act with the immune system to help special white blood cells leave the bloodstream and assist the lymph nodes in fighting infections, according to researchers.

The research team from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation found platelets, the smallest blood cells in the body which help the blood clot to heal wounds, play a key role in allowing lymphocytes out of the blood stream.  Lymphocytes travel to the lymph nodes to find out if the body needs to prepare to fight infection.  The platelets act as screeners to allow only lymphocytes out of the bloodstream, without allowing blood to leave.  Researchers discovered this function by simply removing a key protein in the process, which caused blood and lymphocytes to leave the bloodstream.  The hope is these new findings mean new treatments can be developed to stop internal bleeding using previously unusable frozen platelets.

For more information, go to: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12501.html

SOURCE: Nature, September 2013

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