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Endothelin attenuates endothelium-dependent platelet inhibition in man

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Abstract Aim: 

The vascular endothelium produces several substances, including nitric oxide (NO) and endothelin-1 (ET-1), which participate in the regulation of vascular tone in humans. Both these substances may exert other actions of importance for cardiovascular disease, e.g. effects on vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and inflammation, and NO inhibits platelet function. Experiments were designed to investigate the effect of ET-1 on endothelium-dependent vasodilatation and attenuation of platelet activation. Methods: 

In 25 healthy male subjects (25 ± 1 years), forearm blood flow was measured by venous occlusion plethysmography, and platelet activity was assessed by whole blood flow cytometry (platelet fibrinogen binding and P-selectin expression) in unstimulated and adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-stimulated samples during administration of ET-1, the endothelium-dependent vasodilator acetylcholine and the NO synthase inhibitorl-NMMA. Results: 

Acetylcholine increased forearm blood flow and significantly inhibited platelet activation in both unstimulated and ADP-stimulated samples. In samples stimulated with 0.3 μmADP, fibrinogen binding decreased from 41 ± 4% to 31 ± 3% (P < 0.01, n = 11) after acetylcholine administration. The vasodilator response to acetylcholine was significantly impaired during infusions of ET-1 andl-NMMA. ET-1 did not affect platelet activity per se, whereasl-NMMA increased platelet P-selectin expression. Both ET-1 andl-NMMA attenuated the acetylcholine-induced inhibition of platelet activity. Conclusions: 

Our study indicates that, further to inhibiting endothelium-dependent vasodilatation, ET-1 may also attenuate endothelium-dependent inhibition of platelet activation induced by acetylcholine. An enhanced ET-1 activity, as suggested in endothelial dysfunction, may affect endothelium-dependent platelet modulation and thereby have pathophysiological implications.
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Keywords: P-selectin; acetylcholine; endothelial function; fibrinogen; nitric oxide; platelet activation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden 2:  Cardiology Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: 2010-04-01

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