Reperfusion injury is mediated, in part, by the accumulation of platelets and leucocytes in the microvasculature after reflow. These components of the blood pool form aggregates that can obstruct flow in small vessels. In addition, mediators released from leucocytes and platelets further damage the reperfused myocardium. A strategy to limit reperfusion injury exploits the important role of membrane-bound adhesion molecules that attach platelets and leucocytes to themselves and to the vascular endothelium. Monoclonal antibodies against specific adhesion receptors effectively eliminate the function of the receptor. The most widely investigated receptors are P-selectin, present on platelets and the endothelium, CD11/CD18, present on leucocytes, and the fibrinogen receptor on platelets. Numerous animal studies have strongly supported the use of these monoclonal antibodies to block adhesion receptors as adjunctive reperfusion therapy. However, recent human trials have yielded disappointing results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)