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July 2019
Giacomo Cafaro MD, Elena Bartoloni MD, Alessia Alunno MD PhD, Onelia Bistoni BSc, Sabrina Cipriani PhD, Fabiana Topini PhD and Roberto Gerli MD

Platelets have the ability to influence the immune system and the inflammatory process and may be strongly involved in the whole pathogenic process of chronic inflammatory joint diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. They may play a significant role even before the clinical onset of the disease, contributing to the loss of tolerance of the immune system and the induction of autoimmunity. Subsequently, they can interact with the most important cellular players involved in autoimmunity and inflammation, namely innate immunity cells and T cells and eventually contribute to the building of inflammation in the synovium, thus inducing the activation, migration, and proliferation of fibroblasts that eventually lead to joint damage. Due to their peculiar features, studying the behavior of platelets is a challenging task; however, platelets may prove to be valuable therapeutic targets in the future.

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