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Tuesday 01 July 2003

Aspirin modifies nitric oxide synthase activity in platelets: effects of acute versus chronic aspirin treatment.

By: O'Kane PD, Queen LR, Ji Y, Reebye V, Stratton P, Jackson G, Ferro A.

Cardiovasc Res 2003 Jul 1;59(1):152-9

OBJECTIVE: We examined the effects of aspirin on basal and beta-adrenoceptor (beta-AR)-mediated nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity in normal platelets. METHODS: NOS activity was determined from the conversion of L-[3H]arginine to L-[3H]citrulline, both basally and following beta-AR stimulation, in platelets from healthy human subjects following both short- and long-term aspirin administration. RESULTS: Basal L-[3H]citrulline increased following aspirin 800 mg administered intravenously in vivo, from 0.31+/-0.12 to 0.76+/-0.14 pmol/10(8) platelets (P<0.01). Isoproterenol at 1 micromol/l increased platelet NOS activity before but not following intravenous aspirin. After short-term in vitro treatment with aspirin 10 micromol/l, 400 micromol/l or 4 mmol/l, basal platelet L-[3H]citrulline increased similarly, an effect not seen with indomethacin 100 micromol/l or ibuprofen 10 micromol/l. Platelet NOS activity was not increased by albuterol 1 micromol/l, in the presence of indomethacin, ibuprofen or aspirin in vitro. By contrast, oral aspirin 75 mg daily for 14 days did not affect basal platelet NOS activity, but abolished beta-adrenergic NOS activation. CONCLUSIONS: Aspirin activates basal platelet NOS acutely, but not chronically, through a mechanism independent of cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition. By contrast, both short- and long-term aspirin treatment inhibit platelet beta-adrenergic NOS activation by a COX-dependent mechanism. This indicates that aspirin exerts divergent effects on basal and beta-AR-stimulated platelet NOS activity, which are likely to be of clinical relevance.

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