Diabetes mellitus is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, but the link between hyperglycemia and atherothrombotic disease is not completely understood. Patients with diabetes often show hyporesponsiveness to antiplatelet therapies, and it has been suggested that hyperreactive reticulated platelets underlie this altered therapeutic response. In this issue of the JCI, Kraakman et al. uncover a previously unknown link between hyperglycemia and enhanced platelet production and reactivity. The authors demonstrate that high blood glucose levels trigger neutrophil release of S100 calcium-binding protein A8/A9 (S100A8/A9), which binds to the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) on Kupffer cells, ultimately leading to increased thrombopoietin (TPO) production in the liver. TPO causes megakaryocyte proliferation and increased platelet production. This study demonstrates the importance of glycemic control and identifies potential therapeutic targets in the normalization of platelet numbers and function in diabetes.
Robert H. Lee, Wolfgang Bergmeier
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