Research Summary: Clopidogrel, a Platelet P2Y12 Receptor Inhibitor, Reduces Vascular Inflammation and Angiotensin II Induced-Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Progression


Medial degeneration and inflammation are features of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). However, the early inflammatory event initiating aneurysm formation remains to be identified. Activated platelets release abundant proinflammatory cytokines and are involved in initial inflammation in various vascular diseases. We investigated the role of platelets in progression of AAA in vivo and in vitro. Histological studies of tissues of patients with AAA revealed that the number of platelets was increased in aneurysm sites along with the increased infiltration of T lymphocytes and augmented angiogenesis. In a murine model of AAA, apolipoprotein E-knockout mice infused with 1,000 ng/kg/min angiotensin II, treatment with clopidogrel, an inhibitor of platelets, significantly suppressed aneurysm formation (47% decrease, P<0.05). The clopidogrel also suppressed changes in aortic expansion, elastic lamina degradation and inflammatory cytokine expression. Moreover, the infiltration of macrophages and production of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were also significantly reduced by clopidogrel treatment. In vitro incubation of macrophages with isolated platelets stimulated MMP activity by 45%. These results demonstrate a critical role for platelets in vascular inflammation and AAA progression.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 20-December-2012

Author(s): Liu O., Jia L., Liu X., Wang Y., Wang X., Qin Y., Du J., Zhang H.


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