ABSTRACT: Adrenaline (1 to 10 microM) can induce the aggregation of human platelets suspended in citrated plasma but does not induce the aggregation of washed human platelets at doses as high as 1 mM, although these platelets respond normally to ADP, PAF-acether, collagen, arachidonic acid, thrombin, the endoperoxide analog U-46619 and the Ca2+ ionophore A23187. Adrenaline (0.5 microM) potentiates the aggregation and secretion induced by all the previous agonists in citrated platelet-rich plasma (cPRP) or in washed platelets. The activation by adrenaline of human platelets is mediated by alpha 2-adrenergic receptors, as demonstrated by inhibition with a series of adrenergic antagonists. The alpha-adrenergic antagonist nicergoline inhibits the activation of human platelets by adrenaline in the following situations: nicergoline inhibits the aggregation and secretion caused by adrenaline in cPRP (IC50 0.22 microM and 0.28 microM respectively); nicergoline inhibits the aggregation and secretion induced by the combination of adrenaline and each aggregating agent listed above in cPRP (IC50 ranging from 0.1 to 2.5 microM) or in washed platelets (IC50 ranging from 0.1 to 0.8 microM); nicergoline inhibits the binding of 3H-yohimbine to washed human platelets (IC50 0.26 microM); the intravenous administration of nicergoline (0.5 mg/kg per day) to patients inhibits significantly the ex vivo response of their platelets to adrenaline in cPRP. High concentrations of nicergoline also inhibit the aggregation and secretion induced by the aggregating agents listed above in cPRP (IC50 range 108 to 670 microM) and in washed platelets (IC50 range 27 to 140 microM) and the adhesion of platelets to collagen-coated surfaces. This latter effect is not mediated through blockade of alpha-adrenoceptors. A possible role of adrenaline in platelet activation in vivo could justify the use of nicergoline (Sermion), an alpha-adrenergic antagonist in combination therapy to prevent arterial thrombosis.
Agents and Actions 09/1986; 18(5-6):586-95.