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Platelets. 2002 Nov;13(7):401-6.

The GPIIb/IIIa antagonist eptifibatide markedly potentiates platelet-leukocyte interaction and tissue factor expression following platelet activation in whole blood in vitro.

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Centre for Vascular Biology and Medicine, University Hospital Jena, Nordhäuser Str. 78, D-99089 Erfurt, Germany.


Tissue factor (TF) is the most important initiator of intravascular coagulation. Activated platelets are able to adhere to leukocytes and this heterotypic cell-cell interaction results in a CD62P-dependent TF expression on monocytes. GPIIb/IIIa antagonists are inhibitors of the common pathway of platelet aggregation and they are widely used in patients with acute coronary syndromes undergoing coronary interventions. As GPIIb/IIIa antagonists do not prevent platelet activation we investigated the effect a GPIIb/IIIa antagonist, eptifibatide, on the formation of platelet-leukocyte conjugates and leukocyte TF expression. Flow cytometry was used to detect conjugates and TF. When platelets in citrated human blood were stimulated for 30 min with collagen there was a increase in the number of both neutrophils and monocytes with the platelet-specific antigen CD42a, indicating the formation of platelet-neutrophil (P/N) and platelet-monocyte (P/M) conjugates. P/M formation was associated with about a 2.5-fold increase in TF expression on monocytes, whereas P/N formation changed TF expression neutrophils only by about 10%. Eptifibatide enhanced dose-dependently (0.0625-1.5 microg/ml) both collagen-induced P/M formation and monocyte TF expression. Maximum enhancement by about 60 and 120%, respectively, was observed at 0.5 microg/ml eptifibatide. In contrast, eptifibatide had only a minor effect on P/N formation and no effect on neutrophil TF expression. The augmented P/M formation and monocyte TF expression in the presence of a GPIIb/IIIa antagonist may be relevant to the poor antithrombotic efficiency of oral GPIIb/IIIa antagonists as shown in recent large clinical trials.

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