ARTICLE | Targets & Mechanisms

Targeting platelets in RA

February 25, 2010 8:00 AM UTC

Harvard Medical School researchers have shown that platelets can contribute to inflammatory arthritis and have identified a collagen receptor on these cells that could be a target for treating RA.1 But inhibiting the collagen receptor glycoprotein VI platelet (GPVI; GP6) may have to be tailored for joint-specific effects, as systemically blocking platelets could have antithrombotic effects that might pose a bleeding risk.

Over the years, a variety of other cell types such as lymphocytes, neutrophils, mast cells and synovial tissue cells have been implicated in inflammation related to RA. Eric Boilard and colleagues at Harvard hypothesized that platelets also might be involved. Boilard, a research fellow in the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy at the medical school, based this hypothesis on reports that platelets release inflammatory mediators into the blood in atherosclerosis, another inflammatory condition.2...