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Platelets. 2001 Feb;12(1):20-6.

Changes in platelet glycoprotein receptors after smoking--a flow cytometric study.

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Institute of Immunohaematology, K. E. M. Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, India.


Cigarette smoking is accepted to be one of the major factors which increase the risk of coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease and stroke. A number of studies have been carried out on the acute and chronic effects of tobacco smoking on platelet activation. An enhancing effect of high nicotine cigarette smoking on platelet aggregation has been reported. Since platelet receptors are involved in the final stage of platelet aggregation, the intention of this study was to investigate platelet receptors in acute and chronic smokers before and after smoking. Nineteen chronic smokers, 18 acute smokers and 18 healthy non-smoking controls were included in the present study. Platelet aggregation was carried out using ristocetin, adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and collagen both before and after smoking in acute and chronic smokers. Flow cytometric studies of platelets were carried out utilizing fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labelled anti-human fibrinogen antibody in unstimulated and ADP-stimulated platelets, FITC-labelled anti-GP IIb/IIa antibody, FITC-labelled anti-GP Ib/IX antibody and FITC-labelled P-selectin antibody. The intensity of fluorescence was graded into three groups and expressed in arbitrary units. The interesting data generated in the present work is that in vivo platelet activation occurs immediately after smoking a cigarette which is detected by using FITC-labelled anti-human fibrinogen antibody binding to platelet and by P-selectin expression. It is also quite evident from the present study that a significant number of circulating platelets are in the activated state in chronic smokers. Therefore this study suggests that smoking-induced platelet activation may be an important contributory mechanism for acute coronary events in smokers.

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