• atherothrombosis;
  • in vivo models;
  • knockout technology;
  • mouse;
  • platelets

Summary.  Platelets play a central role in hemostasis and thrombosis but also in the initiation of atherosclerosis, making platelet receptors and their intracellular signaling pathways important molecular targets for antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory therapy. Historically, much of the knowledge about hemostasis and thrombosis has been derived from patients suffering from bleeding and thrombotic disorders and the identification of the underlying molecular defects. In recent years, the availability of genetically modified mouse strains with defined defects in platelet function and the development of in vivo models to assess platelet-related physiologic and pathophysiologic processes have opened new ways to identify the individual roles and the interplay of platelet proteins in adhesion, activation, aggregation, secretion, and procoagulant activity in vitro and in vivo. This review will summarize key findings made by these approaches and discuss them in the context of human disease.