The heterophilic adhesions between monocytes and platelets may result in the modification of both platelet and monocyte function. This mutual modification includes a greater activation of platelets with increased production of PDGF and other metabolites as well as an enhanced tissue factor expression of monocytes with greater activity in the circulation. The heterophilic aggregation has been well documented during extracorporal circulation, haemodialysis and in diabetic retinopathy. Here we provide evidence that there is significant increase of monocyte-platelet aggregates in disorders associated with high platelet counts, such as chronic myeloproliferative disorders. The presence of these heterophilic aggregates may contribute to the vascular complications observed frequently in polycythaemia vera and essential thrombocythaemia.
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