Platelets hold an important function as first line of response to seal wounds after vascular and tissue injury. However, they are much more than just a component of the haemostatic system. They are involved in tissue regeneration and play a role in different pathologic conditions such
as atherosclerosis or tumour progression. Angiogenesis being involved in these processes, as well, may represent one of the (patho-) physiological mechanisms, which are modulated by platelets thereby affecting disease. In other diseases involving inflammation, the role of platelets for endothelial
cells, which are the most important cell type in angiogenesis, is well established. Recent effort has now highlighted a potential role of platelets and platelet derived mediators for angiogenesis. This article reviews our current understanding of the role of platelets for angiogenesis and
how this knowledge could affect future directions in research and therapy.
Vascular disease is the commonest cause of death in Westernized countries and its incidence is on the increase in developing countries. It follows that considerable research is directed at establishing effective treatment for acute vascular events. Long-term treatment has also received considerable attention (e.g. for symptomatic relief). Furthermore, effective prevention, whether primary or secondary, is backed by the findings of several landmark trials.
Vascular disease is a complex field with primary care physicians and nurse practitioners as well as several specialties involved. The latter include cardiology, vascular and cardio thoracic surgery, general medicine, radiology, clinical pharmacology and neurology (stroke units). Current Vascular Pharmacology will publish reviews to update all those concerned with the treatment of vascular disease. For example, reviews commenting on recently published trials or new drugs will be included. In addition to clinically relevant topics we will consider 'research-based' reviews dealing with future developments and potential drug targets. Therefore, another function of Current Vascular Pharmacology is to bridge the gap between clinical practice and ongoing research.
Debates will also be encouraged in the correspondence section of this journal.