Incubation of platelet-rich plasma with 80 μM aspirin that resulted in the inhibition of both the secondary phase of ADP induced platelet aggregation and prostaglandin synthesis simultaneously stimulated the production of NO in platelets. Furthermore it was also found that the treatment of platelet-rich plasma either with 80 μM ibuprofen or salicylic acid, like aspirin, which inhibited the secondary phase of platelet aggregation by ADP and prostaglandin synthesis, also stimulated the production of NO in the absence of added ADP. However the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis by ibuprofen or salicylic acid, unlike aspirin, was transient in nature. Incubation of washed platelets with any of these three compounds also stimulated NO synthesis indicating that the effect of these compounds was not mediated through plasma proteins. The in vitro effect of aspirin on the increase of NO in platelets could also be demonstrated by in vivo exposure of platelets to the compound. It was concluded that either a temporary or a lasting inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis by these inhibitors resulted in the synthesis of NO in resting platelets. Since NO is a potent inhibitor of platelet aggregation the inhibition of platelet aggregation, by these compounds may not be the consequence of the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis alone, but could also be related, at least partly, to the stimulated synthesis of NO by these inhibitors.
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