Collagens mediate essential hemostasis by maintaining the integrity and stability of the vascular wall. Imbalanced turnover of collagens by uncontrolled formation and/or degradation may result in pathologic conditions such as fibrosis. Thickening of the vessel wall because of accumulation of collagens may lead to arterial occlusion or thrombosis. Thinning of the wall because of collagen degradation or deficiency may lead to rupture of the vessel wall or aneurysm. Preventing excessive hemorrhage or thrombosis relies on collagen-mediated actions. Von Willebrand factor, integrins and glycoprotein VI, as well as clotting factors, can bind collagen to restore normal hemostasis after trauma. This review outlines the essential roles of collagens in mediating hemostasis, with a focus on collagens types I, III, IV, VI, XV, and XVIII.
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