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J Biol Chem. 1992 Apr 5;267(10):6541-7.

Selective modulation of the human platelet thromboxane A2/prostaglandin H2 receptor by eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in intact platelets and solubilized platelet membranes.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Illinois, Chicago 60612.


We previously demonstrated that nonesterified as well as esterified eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3) inhibit U46619-induced platelet aggregation and [3H]U46619 specific binding to washed human platelets. It was also demonstrated that esterification of these fatty acids resulted in a decrease in the affinity of [3H]U46619 for the thromboxane A2/prostaglandin H2 (TXA2/PGH2) receptor. In order to investigate the specificity of this inhibition, the effects of 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3 on the function and binding of the platelet alpha 2-adrenergic receptor were studied. It was found that neither 20:5n-3 nor 22:6n-3 (nonesterified or esterified) altered epinephrine-induced aggregation or [3H]yohimbine specific binding. Moreover, Scatchard analysis revealed that esterification with either 20:5n-3 or 22:6n-3 did not alter the dissociation constant for [3H]yohimbine binding. Modulation of the TXA2/PGH2 receptor by 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3 was next evaluated using CHAPS- and digitonin-solubilized platelet membranes. [3H]SQ29,548 dissociation constants of 26.5 nM and 20.8 nM were measured for CHAPS and digitonin-solubilized membranes, respectively. Competitive binding experiments in these solubilized preparations revealed that 20:5n-3 or 22:6n-3 blocked [3H] SQ29,548 binding with IC50 values in the range of 6-15 microM, while concentrations of these fatty acids of up to 100 microM showed no effect on [3H]yohimbine binding. On the other hand, the IC50 values for inhibition of [3H] SQ29,548 binding by linoleic acid (18:2n-6) and gamma-linolenic acid (18:3n-6) were in the range of 150 microM. Furthermore, 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-6 showed similar inhibitory effects on [3H]yohimbine binding. Finally, competition binding studies performed in a partially purified TXA2/PGH2 receptor preparation also demonstrated inhibition of [3H]SQ29,548 binding by 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3. Collectively, these findings support the notion that 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3 can selectively and directly modulate TXA2/PGH2 receptor function, and that this mechanism of action may contribute to the antiplatelet activity associated with diets rich in these fatty acids.

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