Platelets are involved in the maintenance of haemostasis but their inappropriate activation leads to thrombosis, a principal trigger for heart attack and ischaemic stroke. Although platelets circulate in isolation, upon activation they accumulate or aggregate together to form a thrombus, where they function in a co-ordinated manner to prevent loss of blood and control wound repair. Previous report (1) indicates that the stability and functions of a thrombus are maintained through sustained, contact-dependent signalling between platelets. Given the role of gap junctions in the co-ordination of tissue responses, it was hypothesized that gap junctions may be present within a thrombus and mediate intercellular communication between platelets. Therefore studies were performed to explore the presence and functions of connexins in platelets. In this brief review, the roles of hemichannels and gap junctions in the control of thrombosis and haemostasis and the future directions for this research will be discussed.

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