Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw’s®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 15 No. 2 • March-April 2012

Increasing Platelet Production without
Increasing the Risk for Blood Clot Formation

Thrombocytopenia, a condition of low platelet counts and sometimes abnormal bleeding is difficult to treat because of the potential risk of increasing blood clots, particularly in patients with inflammatory disorders. A new paper1 reports a possible remedy for this.

As the researchers explain, although platelets are “vital to hemostasis and have a critical role in immunological and inflammatory processes in the human circulation ... continuous activation of platelets is a major contributor to chronic inflammatory vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and type-2 diabetes.” The paper reports that parthenolide, a component of the herb feverfew, which is already being used as an herbal medicine to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and migraine headaches, was able to stimulate functional platelet production from human megakaryocyte cell lines and from primary mouse and human megakaryocytes in vitro, it also importantly decreased platelet activation by inhibiting NFkappaB, an important mediator of inflammation. The results suggest, therefore, that parthenolide could increase the production of functional platelets but modulate the platelets to reduce their activation when stimulated.


  1. Sahler et al. The Feverfew plant-derived compound, parthenolide enhances platelet production and attenuates platelet activation through NF-kappaB inhibition. Thromb Res 127:426-34 (2011).

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