Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology issue:210 pages:311-37
At sites of vascular injury, collagen-mediated platelet adhesion and activation have long been known as one of the first events in platelet-dependent thrombus formation. Studying patients with bleeding disorders that are caused by defective platelet adhesion to collagen resulted in the identification of several platelet collagen receptors, with glycoprotein VI and integrin α2β1 being the most important ones. Subsequent development of specific collagen receptor knockout mice and various inhibitors of platelet binding to collagen have further proven the role of these receptors in haemostasis and thrombosis. The search for clinically applicable inhibitors for use as antithrombotic drug has led to the identification of inhibitory antibodies, soluble receptor fragments, peptides, collagen-mimetics and proteins from snake venoms or haematophagous animals. In experimental settings, these inhibitors have a good antithrombotic effect, with little prolongation of bleeding times, suggesting a larger therapeutic window than currently available antiplatelet drugs. However, at present, none of the collagen receptor blockers are in clinical development yet.