Platelet inhibition after aspirin therapy reduces the risk for the development of acute coronary syndromes. However, the mechanism by which aspirin affect platelets other than by prostaglandin blockade is unclear. We sought to determine the in vitro effects of aspirin on the surface expression of nine platelet receptors using whole blood flow cytometry. Blood from 24 healthy volunteers was incubated for 30 min with 1.8 and 7.2 mg/l phosphate-buffered saline-diluted acetylsalicylic acid in the presence or absence of apyrase. Platelet serotonin release, and the surface expression of platelet receptors with or without apyrase were determined using the following monoclonal antibodies: anit-CD41 [glycoprotein (GP)IIb/IIIa], CD42b (GPIb), CD62p (P-selectin), CD51/CD61 (vitronectin receptor), CD31 [platelet/endothelial cellular adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1)], CD107a [lysosomal associated membrane protein (LAMP)-1], CD107b (LAMP-2), CD63 (LIMP or LAMP-3), and CD151 (PETA-3). Samples were then immediately fixed with 2% paraformaldehyde, and run on the flow cytometer within 48 h. Aspirin does not affect serotonin release from human platelets. Dose-dependent inhibition of GPIIb/IIIa, P-selectin, CD63, and CD107a receptor expression was observed in the aspirin-treated whole-blood samples. Apyrase potentiates the effects of aspirin, and independently inhibits PECAM-1. In addition to the known effect of irreversibly inhibiting platelet cyclooxygenase-1, thereby blocking thromboxane A2 synthesis, it appears that aspirin exhibits direct effects on selective major platelet receptors.
- Flow cytometry
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