King's College London

Research portal

Platelets Play a Central Role in Sensitization to Allergen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-103
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
Early online date24 Jan 2018
Accepted/In press23 Jan 2018
E-pub ahead of print24 Jan 2018


King's Authors


Platelet activation occurs in patients with allergic inflammation, and platelets can be activated directly by allergen via an IgE-dependent process. Platelets have been shown to activate APCs such as CD11c+ dendritic cells in vitro. Although CD11c+ dendritic cells are a requisite for allergen sensitization, the role of platelets in this process is unknown. In this study, we investigated whether platelets were necessary for allergen sensitization. Balb/c mice sensitized to ovalbumin were exposed to subsequent aerosolized allergen (ovalbumin challenge). We analyzed lung CD11c+ cell activation, colocalization with platelets, and some other indices of inflammation. The role of platelets at the time of allergen sensitization was assessed through platelet depletion experiments restricted to the period of sensitization. Platelets colocalized with airway CD11c+ cells, and this association increased after allergen sensitization as well as after subsequent allergen exposure. Temporary platelet depletion (>95%) at the time of allergen sensitization led to a suppression of IgE and IL-4 synthesis and to a decrease in the pulmonary recruitment of eosinophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes after subsequent allergen exposure. Furthermore, in mice previously depleted of platelets at the time of sensitization, the recovered platelet population was shown to have reduced expression of FcεRI. Pulmonary CD11c+ cell recruitment was suppressed in these mice after allergen challenge, suggesting that the migration of CD11c+ cells in vivo may be dependent on direct platelet recognition of allergen. We conclude that platelets are necessary for efficient host sensitization to allergen. This propagates the subsequent inflammatory response during secondary allergen exposure and increases platelet association with airway CD11c+ cells.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454