London: It`s known that platelets primarily help blood to clot. Now it appears they are also key to forming a full-blown immune response, say scientists.When bacteria enter blood, they rapidly become coated in platelets, the `New Scientist` quoted as saying Dirk Busch, who led a team at the University of Munich in Germany which carried out the research into platelets.These sticky cell fragments then direct bacteria to the spleen, where they are engulfed by dendritic cells – immune cells that trigger a full-blown immune response, according to the scientists.This process relies on the interaction between a platelet receptor called GPIb and a blood protein called C3, which sticks to bacteria.When mice bred to lack C3 were injected with Listeria monocytogenes, platelets failed to surround the bacteria.
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