• Ashwell Morell receptor;
  • clearance;
  • glycans;
  • lectin;
  • platelet

Summary.  In recent years, it has become increasingly apparent that the life span of transfused platelets in circulation is regulated, at least in part, by glycan-lectin mediated mechanisms. There is clear evidence that refrigerated platelets are cleared by glycan-lectin mediated clearance mechanisms. Acute platelet cooling clusters glycoprotein (GP) Ibα receptors bearing uncovered N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), and αMβ2 integrins on hepatic macrophages recognise clustered GlcNAc to rapidly clear these platelets from circulation. With prolonged refrigeration GPIbα clustering bearing uncovered galactose increases, which mediates the removal of long-term refrigerated platelets via hepatic Ashwell–Morell receptors (AMR), originally named as asialoglycoprotein receptors. In contrast, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of transfused room temperature platelet clearance. This review examines the role of glycan-lectin mediated clearance of exogenous, that is transfused chilled platelet clearance and briefly addresses the current knowledge of stored platelet function, degradation and its relation to platelet clearance.