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Potential Therapeutic Targeting of Platelet-Mediated Cellular Interactions in Atherosclerosis and Inflammation

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Cellular interactions among platelets, leukocytes and endothelial cells are considered as a major cause of inflammation and atherosclerosis in many diseases. Via exposed surface receptors and released soluble substances, activated platelets play a crucial role in the initiation of inflammatory processes, resulting in endothelial injury and leading to formation of atherosclerotic plaque with possible thrombotic complications. Classic anti-platelet treatments (e.g. cyclooxygenase inhibitor or ADP-receptor antagonist) have favorable effects in patients with vascular diseases, but they also have several limitations such as increased bleeding risk or non-responsiveness. Thus, the need and opportunities for developing novel therapeutic inhibitors for platelet-mediated events are obvious. Animal and (pre)clinical human studies have suggested that some recently produced specific antagonists of P-selectin from α-granules, as well as its main ligand/receptor P-selectin Glycoprotein Ligand-1, the two major platelet chemokines CXCL4 and CCL5, as well as CD40L, may be considered potential new candidates in the treatment of atherogenesis and inflammation. In this review, we summarize the pathophysiological roles of these effectors in platelet activation and acute or chronic inflammation, and discuss the latest findings on promising antagonistic agents in basic and clinical studies in the prevention of platelet-mediated cellular interactions.

Keywords: Antiplatelet therapy; CD40L; P-selectin; PSGL-1; atherosclerosis; chemokine; endothelial cell; inflammation; leukocyte; microparticle; plaque formation; platelet; vascular disorder

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2012

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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