UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease and Immunology

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiology | Cardiovascular Diseases | Cells | Fluids and Secretions | Hemic and Immune Systems | Immunity | Immunology of Infectious Disease | Immunopathology | Infectious Disease | Influenza Humans | Respiratory Tract Diseases | Virus Diseases


Influenza infection increases the incidence of myocardial infarction but the reason is unknown. Platelets mediate vascular occlusion through thrombotic functions but are also recognized to have immunomodulatory activity. To determine if platelet processes are activated during influenza infection, we collected blood from 18 patients with acute influenza infection. Microscopy reveals activated platelets, many containing viral particles and extracellular-DNA associated with platelets. To understand the mechanism, we isolate human platelets and treat them with influenza A virus. Viral-engulfment leads to C3 release from platelets as a function of TLR7 and C3 leads to neutrophil-DNA release and aggregation. TLR7 specificity is confirmed in murine models lacking the receptor, and platelet depletion models support platelet-mediated C3 and neutrophil-DNA release post-influenza infection. These findings demonstrate that the initial intrinsic defense against influenza is mediated by platelet-neutrophil cross-communication that tightly regulates host immune and complement responses but can also lead to thrombotic vascular occlusion.


influenza, influenza infection, platelets, myocardial infarction

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit

DOI of Published Version



Nat Commun. 2019 Apr 16;10(1):1780. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09607-x. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Nature communications

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.