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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1999 Apr;19(4):1142-7.

Increased platelet aggregability associated with platelet GPIIIa PlA2 polymorphism: the Framingham Offspring Study.

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  • 1Institute for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.


The platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa (GP IIb/IIIa) plays a pivotal role in platelet aggregation. Recent data suggest that the PlA2 polymorphism of GPIIIa may be associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. However, it is unknown if there is any association between this polymorphism and platelet reactivity. We determined GP IIIa genotype and platelet reactivity phenotype data in 1422 subjects from the Framingham Offspring Study. Genotyping was performed using PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Platelet aggregability was evaluated by the Born method. The threshold concentrations of epinephrine and ADP were determined. Allele frequencies of PlA1 and PlA2 were 0.84 and 0.16, respectively. The presence of 1 or 2 PlA2 alleles was associated with increased platelet aggregability as indicated by incrementally lower threshold concentrations for epinephrine and ADP. For epinephrine, the mean concentrations were 0.9 micromol/L (0.9 to 1.0) for homozygous PlA1, 0.7 mmol/L (0.7 to 0.9) for the heterozygous PlA1/PlA2, and 0.6 micromol/L (0.4 to 1.0) for homozygous PlA2 individuals, P=0.009. The increase in aggregability induced by epinephrine remained highly significant (P=0.007) after adjustment for covariates. For ADP-induced aggregation, the respective mean concentrations were 3.1 micromol/L (3.0 to 3.2), 3.0 micromol/L (2.9 to 3.2), and 2.8 micromol/L (2.4 to 3.3); P=0.19 after adjustment for covariates. Our findings indicate that molecular variants of the gene encoding GP IIIa play a role in platelet reactivity in vitro. Our observations are compatible with and provide an explanation for the reported association of the PlA2 allotype with increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

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