Investigation of cyclooxygenase and signaling pathways involved in human platelet aggregation mediated by synergistic interaction of various agonists

Nadia Khan, Ahsana Dar Farooq, Bassem Sadek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In the present study, the mechanism(s) of synergistic interaction of various platelet mediators such as arachidonic acid (AA) when combined with 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) or adenosine diphosphate (ADP) on human platelet aggregation were examined. The results demonstrated that 5-HT had no or negligible effect on aggregation but it did potentiate the aggregation response of AA. Similarly, the combination of subeffective concentrations of ADP and AA exhibited noticeable rise in platelet aggregation. Moreover, the observed synergistic effect of AA with 5-HT on platelets was inhibited by different cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors, namely ibuprofen and celecoxib, with half maximal inhibitory effect (IC50) values of 18.0±1.8 and 15.6±3.4 μmol/L, respectively. Interestingly, the synergistic effect observed for AA with 5-HT was, also, blocked by the 5-HT receptor blockers cyproheptadine (IC50=22.0±7 μmol/L), ketanserin (IC50=152±23 μmol/L), phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor (U73122; IC50=6.1±0.8 μmol/L), and mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor (PD98059; IC50=3.8±0.5 μmol/L). Likewise, the synergism of AA and ADP was, also, attenuated by COX inhibitors (ibuprofen; IC50=20±4 μmol/L and celecoxib; IC50=24±7 μmol/L), PLC inhibitor (U73122; IC50=3.7±0.3 μmol/L), and MAPK inhibitor (PD98059; IC50=2.8±1.1 μmol/L). Our observed data demonstrate that the combination of subthreshold concentrations of agonists amplifies platelet aggregation and that these synergistic effects largely depend on activation of COX/thromboxane A2, receptor-operated Ca2+ channels, Gq/PLC, and MAPK signaling pathways. Moreover, our data revealed that inhibition of COX pathways by using both selective and/or non-selective COX inhibitors blocks not only AA metabolism and thromboxane A2 formation, but also its binding to Gq receptors and activation of receptor-operated Ca2+ channels in platelets. Overall, our results show that PLC and MAPK inhibitors proved to inhibit the synergistic activation of platelets by several/multiple agonists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3497-3509
Number of pages13
JournalDrug Design, Development and Therapy
Publication statusPublished - Jul 6 2015


  • 5-hydroxytryptophan
  • Adenosine-5-diphosphate
  • Arachidonic acid
  • Cyclooxygenase
  • Platelet aggregation
  • Signaling pathway
  • Synergism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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