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Acta Biochim Pol. 2005;52(2):411-5. Epub 2005 May 15.

Adenosine diphosphate receptors on blood platelets: potential new targets for antiplatelet therapy.

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Department of Haemostasis and Haemostatic Disorders, Medical University Hospital Nr 2, Medical University of Łódź, Poland.


Platelets play a key role not only in physiological haemostasis, but also under pathological conditions such as thrombosis. Platelet activation may be initiated by a variety of agonists including thrombin, collagen, thromboxane or adenosine diphosphate (ADP). Although ADP is regarded as a weak agonist of blood platelets, it remains an important mediator of platelet activation evoked by other agonists, which induce massive ADP release from dense granules, where it occurs in molar concentrations. Thus, ADP action underlies a positive feedback that facilitates further platelet aggregation and leads to platelet plug formation. Additionally, ADP acts synergistically to other, even weak, agonists such as serotonin, adrenaline or chemokines. Blood platelets express two types of P2Y ADP receptors: P2Y(1) and P2Y(12). ADP-dependent platelet aggregation is initiated by the P2Y1 receptor, whereas P2Y(12) receptor augments the activating signal and promotes platelet release reaction. Stimulation of P2Y(12) is also essential for ADP-mediated complete activation of GPIIb-IIIa and GPIa-IIa, and further stabilization of platelet aggregates. The crucial role in blood platelet biology makes P2(Y12) an ideal candidate for pharmacological approaches for anti-platelet therapy.

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