see platelets activating
In this video you can see platelets becoming activated as they settle on to collagen. The red dye shows us when mitochondria, the energy drivers of the platelet, are active and the green dye when the platelet has increased calcium inside. Calcium is one of the key controllers of platelets and as it increases (platelets get more green) the platelets are getting more active. In some places the colour turns yellow where mitochondria and calcium are activated together. If you keep on watching you can see the platelets change shape and break up as they activate (follow the platelet about a third of the way down on the right hand side). By the way, we have diluted the platelets so that they can't stick together making them easier to see individually. (Thank you to Harriet for the nice experiment).
April 2020 - Really interesting publication with a great group of collaborators exploring platelet function in older people (~65-95) living in the Tyrol. The largest ever study in such a group. Seems that as you get older your platelets don't become more reactive if you stay healthy. So increased risk of heart attack and strokes does not seem to be simply explained by age related changes in platelets.
April 2020 - Study into a family with a missense mutation in PTGS1 (gene encoding COX-1) leading to a selective loss of COX-1 protein in platelets and so a serendipitous benchmarking of the effects of low dose aspirin. A really fascinating piece of work that took quite a few years and lots of collaborators.
April 2020 - Interesting approach to improving anti-platelet therapy where we show that by combining low doses of P2Y12 receptor antagonists with cyclic nucleotide modulators we can produce a focussed effect on platelets while sparing the vasculature; platelet inhibition without vasodilatation. This builds upon our earlier demonstration that inhibition of P2Y12 receptors greatly enhances the inhibitory effects of guanylyl cyclase activators.
February 2020 - Well done, Harriet. Sailing through her PhD viva. Harriet's thesis contained a lot of the work that has supported our recent BHF funding into platelet ageing, so this has been a very successful piece of work. Congratulations from all of us, Harriet.
December 2019 - Well done, Laura. Passing her PhD viva on her thesis exploring the effects of the fatty acid DGLA on platelet function. Off to California in the new year for an exciting new post doc. We're very proud of you Laura.
October 2019 - Prizes for both Marilena and Laura at the 16th International Conference on Bioactive Lipids in Cancer, Inflammation and Related Diseases held in St Petersburg's Florida. Well done both for excellent work.
October 2019 - Great news from the British Heart Foundation. We have been awarded a 5 year programme grant entitled 'The association between platelet age and platelet function; relevance to thrombotic risk'. This will allow us to make in-depth investigations in this important and emerging area of platelet research.
September 2019 - Publication in collaboration with Prof Jane Mitchell's group at Imperial College of a study into the role of the enzyme cyclooxygenase-1 in producing the anti-thrombotic eicosanoid, prostacyclin, within the body. The study demonstrates that the cyclooxygenase-1-prostacyclin system within endothelial cells provides an essential anti-thrombotic tone.
September 2019 - Well done Paul (Armstrong) and Harriet. Paul won the oral presentation prize and Harriet the poster prize at the Platelet Society meeting at Jesus College, Cambridge.
September 2019 - Well done Paul (Armstrong) and Harriet. Paul won the oral presentation prize and Harriet the poster prize at the Platelet Society meeting at Jesus College, Cambridge.
August 2019 - Publication of work in collaboration with Prof Karim Brohi's trauma group demonstrating how trauma is linked to the production of platelet balloons and microparticles. These platelet balloons and microparticles appear formed due to the direct actions of histone H4 on platelets. We think this is the first report of platelet ballooning in human disease and decribes a previously unrecognized mechanism by which platelets contribute to the innate response to tissue damage.
July 2019 - Many congratulations to Harriet, whose poster on the nature of platelets of different ages won first prize at the annual meeting of the International Society on Thrombosis and Hemostasis in Melbourne, Australia.
July 2019 - Well done Paul (Vulliamy) winning the research images competition with his montage of 'white cells in colour' drawing on his studies into how blood cell functions change in trauma.
March 2019 - In collaboration with Prof Ruth Muschel's group at University of Oxford a fascinating study investigating why regular use of aspirin is linked to a reduction in cancer risk. The data indicates that thromboxane A2 formed by platelets orchestrates the generation of favourable intravascular metastatic niche that promotes tumour cell seeding and identifies cyclooxygenase-1 and thromboxane A2 signalling as a target for the prevention of metastasis.
December 2018 - Many congratulations to Dilen for winning the Young Pharmacologist undergraduate poster prize at the British Pharmacological Society meeting, Pharmacology 2018.
November 2018 - Publication of a collaborative study between us and colleagues in Prof Manuel Mayr's laboratory at King's College London. The study shows the effects of microRNA-21 on platelet function and how this could link through to fibrotic effects in the heart.
August 2018 - Rebecca and Tim publish a review detailing how important it is to take into account the role of the endothelium when understanding the action of anti-platelet drugs. Of course, endothelial cells are always absent when platelets are tested ex vivo in the laboratory so the balance of platelet reactivity is very different from that within the body. Indeed, you need anti-coagulants to study platelets outside the body, otherwise they rapidly activate, indicating the loss of these endogenous pathways the normally keep platelets balanced.
July 2018 - Everyone in robes to celebrate Mel's PhD graduation. A great day with a great after celebration.
March 2018 - Mel has led on a concise review of 96-well aggregometry highlighting our Optimul assay published in the journal Platelets.
March 2018 - We've published an up to date review in the British Journal of Pharmacology regarding platelets and their production of eicosanoids.
January 2018 - Publication of a fascinating study following kidney transplantation to one of the patients lacking group IV A cytosolic phospholipase A2 that we have studied previously. The study shows that using measurements of urinary metabolites of PGI2 and TXA2 to judge cardiovascular function (as has been widely done for over 30 years) may well be completely misleading. The metabolites can be entirely formed by the kidney alone.
January 2018 - Publication of a collaborative study between us and colleagues in Copenhagen looking at the effects of physical activity on platelet function and the effectiveness of anti-platelet drugs. The study shows that a habitually active lifestyle leads to an increased platelet sensitivity to pharmacological and physiological platelet inhibitors. This suggests that physical activity habits (training status) should be considered when personalising and optimizing anti-thrombotic treatment strategies.
December 2017 - Many congratulations to Mel for winning the flash poster prize at the British Pharmacological Society meeting, Pharmacology 2017.
October 2017 - Our Optimul assay has been used up a mountain, Hua yna Potosi in Bolivia (6088m), to help test the effects of altitude upon biological function in the APEX 5 study. We're looking forward to hearing about the results.
September 2017 - Well done to Rebecca for passing her PhD viva. Busy now back in clinical work and training.
July 2017 - Good news from the British Heart Foundation. We have been awarded a 3 year grant for our project 'Re-evaluating the effects of aspirin on the cardiovascular system' which will support Marilena to pursue our research into the roles of cyclooxygenase isoforms in the circulation.
July 2017 - Harriet, Marilena, Mel, Mel, Paul, Paul, Tim all had a great time at ISTH 2017 meeting in Berlin. Poster presentations for all and a oral presentation for Marilena about our mice with COX-1 deleted from their platelets. Finally a mouse model that mimics the effects of low dose aspirin in humans.
July 2017 - We've been working with a very long time collaborator, Prof Pedro D'Orleans-Juste, at University of Sherbrooke in Canada. The outcome is a paper in Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology looking at platelet aggregation in apolipoprotein E deficient mice.
June 2017 - We've contributed to a paper from Prof John Gibbins laboratory at Reading University looking at how nuclear receptors are involved in the formation of coated platelets, published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. This continues papers from some years ago looking at nuclear receptor agonists in platelets and other cells (see more here).
May 2017 - After some nice collaborative work with colleagues from Swansea University and the Morriston Hospital we've published an interesting paper examining the contribution of platelets to the fractal growth of blood clots, and the influences of anti-platelet drugs (see more here).
February 2017 - Our paper looking at the roles of newly formed (reticulated) platelets in formation of platelet aggregates and how they may undermine the effectiveness of anti-platelet therapy has been accepted for publication in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. This follows from our 2015 paper in ATVB, and is developing a nice line of research regarding the roles of different populations of platelets (see more here).
February 2017 - We're moving! Tim has become Director of the Blizard Institute and we will be moving from Charterhouse Square to the Whitechapel campus. An exciting chance to work with a whole new range of clinical and academic colleagues.
February 2017 - After Mel's win for best presentation we went on as a team to win the WHRI Quiz. Mel (Chan) was particularly proud. She took the cup home for the night.
February 2017 - Congratulations to Mel (Hayman) for winning the best student presentation at the WHRI winter review day. Mel beat off strong competition to win the academic staff vote and a travel bursary.
January 2017 - Hello to Laura Menke joining us as our latest PhD student. Funded by EU on the EVOluTION ITN headed by Mauro Perretti. Laura is going to be looking at how dietary fats can affect platelet function.
October 2016 - Very pleased to have Harriet who did her MRes project with us to return as a PhD student. Harriet's got lot of experience working with platelets so should be able to get straight into her project.
September 2016 - Tim very much enjoyed the opportunity to discuss some of work at the ISTH Advanced Training Course on 'Platelet Bleediing Disorders: How They Should be Investigated', held at St Anne's College Oxford. You can read about some of the issues discussed in the journal 'Platelets' by following this link.
September 2016 - Many congratulations to Mel (Hayman) for winning the poster prize at EUPLAN. The prize was given to Mel at the European Platelet Network (EUPLAN) meeting at Bad Homburg for her work entitled, 'Tracking and functional analysis of reticulated platelets'. Paul also had one of the few abstracts accepted for an oral presentation, so all round a successful conference.
September 2016 - Very glad that FASEBJ have accepted our paper demonstrating that platelet COX-1 can produce 15(S)-HETE which then has strong angiogenic properties. Importantly this production of 15(S)-HETE is blocked by aspirin providing a potential mechanism to explain how low doses of aspirin can reduce the development of certain types of cancer. Very interesting to us, and we hope the starting point for another line of platelet and eicosanoid research (see more here).
May 2016 - Very happy to have been able to contribute to the lovely art project 'The Fox Got You', created by the artist Françoise Sergy. You can find out more at this link.
April 2016 - Publication of a study led by Valerie O'Donnell from Cardiff, to which we made a small contribution, showing that COX-1 in platelets can produce 8-hydroxy-9,11-dioxolane eicosatriaenoic acid (dioxolane A3, DXA3). DXA3 is a novel mediator that can activate or prime human neutrophils, suggesting a role in innate immunity and acute inflammation. A further interesting step in the characterisation of lipid mediators and platelet biology. You can find the paper at this link.
April 2016 - We've transported part of our laboratory out to Bruneck to conduct platelet phenotyping as part of this on-going cohort study. Mel (Chan) is doing most of the work, and very busy assaying 20 patients a day. You can read more about the Bruneck cohort at this link.
March 2016 - We've published what we think a rather nice review piece containing our thoughts regarding the interaction between endothelium-derived mediators, particularly nitric oxide and prostacyclin, and anti-platelet drugs. You can read the review by following this link.
January 2016 - Huge congratulations to Thomas for winning the 2016 Karl Link Early Career Investigator Award in Thrombosis from the American Heart Association journal 'Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology'. His paper, “Drug-free platelets can act as seeds for aggregate formation during antiplatelet therapy,” was selected as the most outstanding paper published during 2015 in the Thrombosis section of the Journal. The award was very competitive, as about 400 manuscripts were submitted in the competition for Early Career Investigator Awards. (See the paper here). [This is the second time we've won this award. Ferhana Ali won in 2010 for her paper regarding statins, fibrates and platelet nuclear receptors].
December 2015 - Congratulations to Ayesha, our BMedSci project student last year, for winning the British Pharmacological Society poster prize at Pharmacology 2015. Aiyesh's research into the combined effects of dipyridamole and other anti-thrombotic drugs on platelet function was the highest ranked student poster on the final day of the meeting.
December 2015 - Publication of work led by Prof. Manuel Mayr (KCL) investigating the associations between miRNA and YRNA and platelet function. Paul in particular contributed some nice experiments and this continues an active area of research with Prof. Mayr's group. We look forward to further collaborative work in the future. (See more about the paper here).
December 2015 - Seems we must have been nice and not naughty all year, as Secret Santa brought us some presents.
November 2015 - Interesting paper published from work we carried out in collaboration with Prof Albert Ferro and Dr Chris Floyd from KCL exploring the impact of PIA2 allele of glycoprotein IIIa on platelet function (see more here).
November 2015 - We're particularly happy that our paper building upon our previous observations that P2Y12 receptor blockade potentiates the inhibitory effects of nitric oxide and prostacyclin upon platelets has been accepted for publication by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. This helps in developing an understanding of how anti-platelet therapy could be optimised for individual patients (see more here).
October 2015 - Good news from the British Heart Foundation. We have been awarded a 3 year grant for our project 'Control of thrombosis by endogenous pathways of platelet inhibition and relevance to anti-platelet therapy' which will be conducted in collaboration with Prof Adrian Hobbs. This will allow us to develop our research into cyclic nucleotides and platelet function.
October 2015 - Tim has been working out his scientific 'family tree', and was suitably impressed to realise there were 6 winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in the previous 4 'generations'. (see the 'family tree' here).
September 2015 - Congratulations to Plinio for winning a travel award to present at Eurothrombosis 2015. The award was given by the European Society of Cardiology Working Group on Thrombosis 'in recognition of outstanding scientific work'. Rebecca's abstract was also highly scored, being one of less than 10% of submitted abstracts that was selected for an oral presentation.
September 2015 - Many congratulations to our MRes project students, Harriet and Anna for finishing their course with great success. Harriet even got a Distinction!
July 2015 - A good period for publications, our paper looking at the interaction of different platelet populations in the formation of platelet aggregates has been accepted for publication in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. ATVB is the American Heart Association's journal for the publication of basic, translational, clinical, and population research in the areas of arteriosclerosis, thrombosis and vascular biology (see more here). Also an interesting accompanying editorial from Drs Gurbel and Tantry.
July 2015 - The acceptance of our paper in FASEBJ last month is followed closely by the good news that Blood has accepted our paper on a novel way to follow platelet activation and its use to reveal a role for ICAM-1 in regulating platelet-white cell interactions. Blood is the most cited, peer-reviewed publication in the field of haematology (see more here).
June 2015 - Very glad that FASEBJ have accepted our paper analysing the production of eicosanoids by cardiovascular cells from patients lacking group IV A cytosolic phospholipase A2. We think very interesting, and the first definitive broad study of the role of this important enzyme in humans (see more here).
June 2015 - Congratulations to Rebecca for winning the best poster prize at the William Harvey Research Institute's review day. This follows from Rebecca's win for best clinical poster at Pharmacology 2014. Rebecca's research is into the interactions between routinely taken anti-thrombotic drugs, particularly aspirin and P2Y12 receptor blockers, and the local hormones produced by the endothelial cells that line all blood vessels.
June 2015 - Good news from the British Heart Foundation. We have been awarded a grant for our project 'Platelet response phenotyping to improve anti-thrombotic therapy' which will be conducted in collaboration with Prof Magdi Yaqoob's Nephrology and Transplant Medicine Research Group. This will continue support for Melissa Chan and allow us to continue this important line of research for our group.
April 2015 - We're pleased to see the publication of our paper conducted in collaboration with Prof Roger Corder. The study shows ways in which dark chocolate containing high content of flavanol could be protective in the cardiovascular system. Some of the work was conducted by Zetty during her PhD, so it's taken us a few years to work through (see more here).
April 2015 - Congratulations to Francesca for passing her PhD (just needed to wait for some textual clean ups). All wrapped up within time and off to a post-doc researcher position at Imperial College. Very good news.
March 2015 - Publication of work we conducted in collaboration with Prof Nick Curzen and colleagues at Southampton assessing how platelet assays including PGE2 may be misleading. Potentially very relevant for clinical testing in at risk patients (see more here).
December 2014 - More congratulations. The second day of British Pharmacological Society meeting continued with two more poster prizes for us. Jennie for the best poster from a medical student (see picture here) and Rebecca for the best clinical poster. Three prizes in two days!
December 2014 - Congratulations to Francesca, who following on from her win last year, has now won the British Pharmacological Society poster prize at Pharmacology 2014. Francesca's research into the effects of platelet eicosanoids on endothelial cells angiogenesis was the highest ranked poster on the first day of the meeting.
December 2014 - Publication of work led by Prof. Jane Mitchell and Dr James Leiper at Imperial College showing that inhibition of cyclooxyrgenase-2 increases the circulatory levels of the asymmetric dimetlylarginine, which inhibits nitric oxide function and can increase blood pressure. Could be a very important lead to understand the link between nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs and thrombotic events.
November 2014 - A new research project supported by AstraZeneca is allowing us to examine the interactions of different platelet populations in an ex vivo study using healthy volunteers treated with anti-platelet drugs.
October 2014 - Interesting day for us as BBC4 come to film some of our platelet experiments and the effects of aspirin to include in their documentary 'Blood'. Presenter Dr Michael Mosley was proud after having his blood taken by Rebecca.
July 2014 - Very pleased to hear that the British Heart Foundation have awarded us a grant for our project 'Vascular roles of HpETE/HETEs produced by platelet COX and LOX enzymes'. This will continue support for Paul Armstrong and allow us to develop this important line of research for our group.
June 2014 - Congratulations to our BMedSci student, Jennie, for passing with a first class degree and the Treasurer's Prize for the best performing student. We're also very pleased that Jennie has received a Rod Flower summer studentship and will be staying with us for a further six weeks to continue the research she began during her BMedSci project.
May 2014 - Congratulations to Thomas for passing his PhD viva with confidence and style. He's already completed his minor corrections and should be able to graduate in July. All wrapped up in three and a half years.
May 2014 - We're very pleased that Melissa Hayman, who is currently conducting her MRes project with us, will be joining us in October as our newest PhD student. Melissa will investigating associations between platelet mRNA expression and platelet function in collaboration with Prof. Patricia Munroe.
April 2014 - Work begins on new research supported by AstraZeneca and the William Harvey Research Foundation investigating interactions of different platelet populations relevant to treatment with anti-platelet drugs.
January 2014 - Good start to 2014 as we hear our study in collaboration with Prof. Steve Watson's group in Birmingham, to use our Optimul platelet test in patients with bleeding disorders, has been accepted for publication in the journal Blood (which is the most cited, peer-reviewed publication in the field of haematology). Click here to go to the paper.
December 2013 - Congratulations to Francesca, who won the British Pharmacological Society poster prize at Pharmacology 2013. Francesca's research project into the eicosanomics of platelet activation was the highest ranked poster on the final day of the meeting (see the photo here).
September 2013 - Good month for publications, another paper just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The work for this study on H2S and platelets was led by Prof. Raffaella Sorrentino at the University of Naples, who first worked with us some 20 years ago. You can download the paper here.
September 2013 - Very pleased that our paper on the interactions between the anti-thrombotic drugs, P2Y12 receptor blockers, and nitric oxide has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (one of the world's most-cited multidisciplinary scientific serials). It was a lot of work. The final paper is 18 pages including all the supplementary information. You can download the paper here.
July 2013 - Congratulations to our BMedSci student, Elias, who won the British Pharmacological Society undergraduate prize in clinical pharmacology. Elias's research project into the effects of hydrogen peroxide on platelets was the highest scoring clinically themed project.
March 2013 - Martina's abstract for the Gordon Research Conference on Cell Biology of Megakaryocytes and Platelets was selected for an oral presentation at the pre-meeting and won through to the main conference as a best presentation.
October 2012 - A lot of work on the cyclooxygenase project has been rewarded with a publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (one of the world's most-cited multidisciplinary scientific serials). The experiments were supported by our Wellcome programme grant, held by Tim with Prof. Jane Mitchell as principal investigator at Imperial College London. You can download the paper here.
October 2012 - Very pleased to hear that the British Heart Foundation have awarded us a grant for our project 'Roles of platelet subpopulations in the formation of platelet aggregates with relevance to anti-platelet therapy'. Also good to know that the grant will fund Paul Armstrong to return to the group after his post-doctoral posts at the BakerIDI in Melbourne and Imperial College, London.
July 2012 - Congratulations to our BMedSci student, Archana, who won the British Pharmacological Society undergraduate prize in clinical pharmacology and the Apothecaries' Prize. Archana's research project on the effects of fatty acids on platelet function was the highest scoring clinically themed project.
July 2012 - Good news from the British Heart Foundation. Our application for a clinical training fellowship for Rebecca Knowles to study with us for a PhD has been successful. Rebecca will be researching into the interactions between blockers of platelet P2Y12 receptors and aspirin.