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Petzold, Tobias; Thienel, Manuela; Konrad, Ildiko; Schubert, Irene; Regenauer, Ron; Hoppe, Boj; Lorenz, Michael; Eckart, Annekathrin; Chandraratne, Sue; Lennerz, Carsten; Kolb, Christof; Braun, Daniel; Jamasbi, Janina; Brandl, Richard; Braun, Siegmund; Siess, Wolfgang; Schulz, Christian; Massberg, Steffen (2016): Oral thrombin inhibitor aggravates platelet adhesion and aggregation during arterial thrombosis. In: Science Translational Medicine, Vol. 8, No. 367, 367ra168
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Abstract

In patients with atrial fibrillation, oral anticoagulation with oral thrombin inhibitors (OTIs), in contrast to vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), associates with a modest increase in acute coronary syndromes (ACSs). Whether this observation is causatively linked to OTI treatment and, if so, whether OTI action is the result of a lower anti-thrombotic efficacy of OTI compared to VKA or reflects a yet undefined prothrombotic activity of OTI remain unclear. We analyzed platelet function in patients receiving OTI or dose-adapted VKA under static and flow conditions. In vivo, we studied arterial thrombosis in OTI-, VKA-, and vehicle-treated mice using carotid ligation and wire injury models. Further, we examined thrombus formation on human atherosclerotic plaque homogenates under arterial shear to address the relevance to human pathology. Under static conditions, aggregation in the presence of ristocetin was increased in OTI-treated blood, whereas platelet reactivity and aggregation to other agonists were only marginally affected. Under flow conditions, firm platelet adhesion and thrombus formation on von Willebrand factor, collagen, and human atherosclerotic plaque were increased in the presence of OTI in comparison to VKA. OTI treatment was associated with increased thrombus formation in injured carotid arteries of mice. Inhibition or ablation of GPIb alpha-thrombin interactions abolished the effect of OTI on thrombus formation, suggesting a mechanistic role of the platelet receptor GPIb alpha and its thrombin-binding site. The effect of OTI was also abrogated in the presence of aspirin. In summary, OTI treatment has prothrombotic activity that might contribute to the increase in ACS observed clinically in patients.