Vascular control of myocardial repair by platelet-derived innate immune signals
In this project we will investigate how platelets modulate post-ischemic recovery, angiogenesis and tissue remodeling after myocardial infarction. This approach will address a previously neglected topic: how do cellular and non-cellular blood constituents contribute to vascular control of organ function, in this case the injured heart. We recently identified the anaphylatoxin receptor C5aR1 on the surface of platelets and deciphered its role in neovascularization of peripheral limbs. Platelet-mediated thrombo-inflammation as well as extravascular effects of platelets, e.g., the regulation of angiogenesis, will now be studied in the ischemic (and reperfused) heart and compared to ischemic skeletal muscle. State-of-the-art mouse models, novel pharmacological inhibitors as well as an observational clinical study will be applied to describe the role of platelet C5aR1 and other platelet-derived innate immune signals in myocardial repair.