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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1987 Nov;243(2):767-74.

Effects of anagrelide on platelet cAMP levels, cAMP-dependent protein kinase and thrombin-induced Ca++ fluxes.

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  • 1Department of Cardiovascular Biology, Bristol-Myers Pharmaceutical Research and Development Division, Evansville, Indiana.


Anagrelide (BL-4162A, 6,7-dichloro-1,5-dihydroimidazo[2, 1-6] quinazolin-2[3H]one monohydrochloride hydrate) is a potent and broad spectrum inhibitor of platelet aggregation. Prior studies showed that anagrelide inhibited platelet cyclic AMP (cAMP) phosphodiesterase activity but did not appreciably elevate platelet cAMP levels. We examined the effects of anagrelide on washed human platelets and found that anagrelide caused significant elevation of cAMP levels. Anagrelide treatment also resulted in activation of the platelet cAMP-dependent protein kinase at anagrelide concentrations of 0.1 to 1 microgram/ml, which inhibited platelet aggregation but caused only small increases in platelet cAMP content. When whole platelets were incubated with radiolabeled phosphate, anagrelide increased phosphorylation of platelet proteins with relative molecular weights of 22, 26, 50 and 80 kilodaltons. The pattern of protein phosphorylation stimulated by anagrelide treatment was similar to that observed when the platelets were treated with forskolin. Anagrelide also inhibited the rise in intracellular Ca++ caused by thrombin, as measured using Fura-2-loaded platelets. The inhibition of increased intracellular Ca++ resulted from block of thrombin-induced mobilization of intracellular Ca++, as well as prevention of Ca++ influx through the plasma membrane. Anagrelide itself had no influence on inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-induced Caz5++ release from isolated platelet membrane vesicles. These studies suggest that anagrelide inhibits platelet phosphodiesterase activity in intact platelets resulting in an elevation in cAMP levels sufficient to activate the cAMP-dependent protein kinase and inhibit agonist-activated Ca++ fluxes.

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