The absence or deficiency of specific platelet glycoprotein receptors has a well-defined role in causing several rare bleeding disorders such as Bernard-Soulier syndrome or Glanzmann's thrombasthenia. Several new rare disorders caused by defects in other receptors or their signalling pathways have recently been described. Platelet receptors are also often targets for antibodies in pathological conditions. The roles of platelet receptors or their polymorphism variants in diseases such as cardiovascular disorders have started to be intensively investigated over the last 5 years. Many of these findings still remain controversial. Recent evidence points to a fundamental role for platelets and their receptors in the origins of atherosclerosis. Studies on the role of platelet receptors in diseases such as asthma, diabetes and HIV are still at an early stage.
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