Depression is a major cause of morbidity and low quality of life among patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD), and it is now considered as an independent risk factor for major adverse cardiovascular events. Increasing evidence indicates not only that depression worsens the prognosis of cardiac events, but also that a cross-vulnerability between the two conditions occurs.
Among the several mechanisms proposed to explain this interplay, platelet activation is the more attractive, seeing platelets as potential mirror of the brain function.
In this review, the Authors dissected the mechanisms linking depression and CVD highlighting the critical role of platelet behavior during depression as trigger of cardiovascular complication. In particular, they discussed the relationship between depression and molecules involved in the CVD (e.g., catecholamines, adipokines, lipids, reactive oxygen species, and chemokines), emphasizing their impact on platelet activation and related mechanisms.
Even if many of the studies taken into consideration seem to suggest that circulating levels of these molecules are changed during depression, consequently favoring platelets activation, the results present in literature are often still controversial and need further investigation to give a univocal indication. The Authors concluded that it will be useful to study the pathways activated by these molecules in platelets of depressed patients to understand molecular mechanisms underlying the link among depression, platelet activation and CVD.