Blood-Derived Extracellular RNA and Platelet Pathobiology: Adding Pieces to a Complex Circulating Puzzle

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; UMass Metabolic Network

Publication Date


Document Type



Cell Biology | Cellular and Molecular Physiology


The interaction between blood cells and disease has continued to grow both more complex and increasingly intriguing. Once thought to be static populations, circulating blood cells are now known to interact and communicate in ways far beyond the singular processes historically attributed to each population. A primary example is the platelet, an anucleate cell with a traditional role in hemostasis and thrombosis. The platelets’ defined biological roles have expanded exponentially over the last decade to include immunity, inflammation and mediation of oncogenesis. Platelets, although anucleate, contain a wealth of transcriptomic information. When viewed from the perspective of a large population analysis, platelets demonstrate wide diversity, important patterns, including association with obesity and diabetes, and distinct expression profiles as compared to white cells. Platelets' ability to participate in diverse systemic responses has been elucidated by our growing understanding of their contents and the revelation of their capacity to share these contents. Platelets are now known to horizontally transfer RNA, traffic pathogens and regulate physiological and pathophysiological processes far beyond hemostasis.


Editorial, diabetes mellitus, microRNA, platelet, thrombosis, transcriptomics

DOI of Published Version



Circ Res. 2016 Feb 5;118(3):374-6. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.308190. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Circulation research

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID