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Brain Res. 2008 Apr 18;1205:21-6. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.02.005. Epub 2008 Feb 13.

Platelet membrane fluidity and Na+/K+ ATPase activity in acute stroke.

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  • 1Institute of Biochemistry, Marche Polytechnic University, Italy.


Stroke is a consequence of a reduction in cerebral blood flow but the mechanisms involved in the production of ischemic damage are complex and probably not fully known. It is hypothesized that alterations in platelet membrane fluidity are directly related to the severity of the stroke as measured by the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS). Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate Na+/K+ ATPase activity and platelet membrane fluidity, measured by fluorescent probes TMA-DPH and DPH in patients affected by ischemic stroke and controls in order to identify, if any, chemical-physical and/or functional modifications associated with cerebral ischemic damage. Patients were divided into three groups according to the presence of vascular risk factors (Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension and Smoking) in order to evaluate the possible influence of each risk factor on the NIHSS score and both Na+/K+ ATPase activity and platelet membrane fluidity. Data showed a significant decrease in both Na+/K+ ATPase activity and platelet fluidity values in patients compared to controls. Moreover, all three groups showed a negative significant correlation between NIHSS and Na+/K+ ATPase activity and a positive significant correlation between NIHSS, TMA-DPH and DPH. In conclusion, the present data point out that alterations in the platelet membrane's chemical-physical (decreased fluidity) and functional properties (reduced Na+/K+ ATPase activity) rose proportionally with NIHSS increase. These modifications and their interaction with some vascular risk factors might be involved in the pathogenesis of ischemic damage development.

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