Morphodynamics of Blood Platelets


Platelet plug formation is a major step in physiological hemostasis, but also in pathological thrombosis after atherosclerotic plaque rupture, triggering myocardial infarction or stroke. Approximately 750 billion platelets circulate in human blood, constantly scanning the vasculature for damage of the endothelial surface. Upon encountering endothelial injury, platelets are immediately recruited in a well-characterized cascade of events including initial platelet tethering and rolling, followed by platelet activation, adhesion and spreading. During this stepwise processes platelets undergo dramatic shape changes, shifting from a discoid shape while circulating in the blood stream to a fried-egg-like shape after initial adhesion and subsequent activation-dependent spreading. We recently developed imaging based tools to visualize these processes on a single platelet level in vitro and in vivo. Based on our analysis we recently found that circular spreading platelets are not immotile but rather polarize and migrate at sites of vascular injury (unpublished data). Our main goal is to dissect the molecular and mechanical cues regulating platelet cytoskeleton dynamics and platelet motility in the context of thrombosis and inflammation.


PI Florian Gärtner

ey Publications:

Migrating Platelets Are Mechano-scavengers that Collect and Bundle Bacteria.

Gaertner F, Ahmad Z, Rosenberger G, Fan S, Nicolai L, Busch B, Yavuz G, Luckner M, Ishikawa-Ankerhold H, Hennel R, Benechet A, Lorenz M, Chandraratne S, Schubert I, Helmer S, Striednig B, Stark K, Janko M, Böttcher RT, Verschoor A, Leon C, Gachet C, Gudermann T, Mederos Y Schnitzler M, Pincus Z, Iannacone M, Haas R, Wanner G, Lauber K, Sixt M, Massberg S.

Cell. 2017 Nov 30;171(6):1368-1382.e23. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.11.001.


Blood coagulation in immunothrombosis—At the frontline of intravascular immunity

Florian Gärtner, Steffen Massberg
Seminars in Immunology, Volume 28, Issue 6, December 2016, Pages 561–569

Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Produced by Sphingosine Kinase 2 Intrinsically Controls Platelet Aggregation In Vitro and In Vivo.

Urtz N, Gaertner F, von Bruehl ML, Chandraratne S, Rahimi F, Zhang L, Orban M, Barocke V, Beil J, Schubert I, Lorenz M, Legate KR, Huwiler A, Pfeilschifter JM, Beerli C, Ledieu D, Persohn E, Billich A, Baumruker T, Mederos y Schnitzler M, Massberg S.

Circ Res. 2015 Jul 31;117(4):376-87. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.306901. Epub 2015 Jun 30.