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Diabetes. 1988 Jun;37(6):780-6.

Insulin directly reduces platelet sensitivity to aggregating agents. Studies in vitro and in vivo.

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Cattedra di Clinica Medica Generale e Terapia Medica III, University of Turin, San Luigi Gonzaga Hospital, Italy.


The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of insulin on platelet function, both in vitro and in vivo. For the in vitro investigation, we evaluated whether insulin affects platelet function at a physiological hormone concentration by incubating the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) of fasting subjects with human regular insulin at the final concentration of 40 microU/ml for 30 min; we observed a significant reduction of platelet sensitivity to all the aggregating agents employed, i.e., ADP, platelet-activating factor (PAF), epinephrine, collagen, and Na+ arachidonate. To investigate whether the insulin effect on platelets is dose dependent, we incubated the PRP of fasting subjects with different concentrations of human regular insulin (40, 80, 120, and 160 microU/ml) for 5 min, and we observed that the insulin-induced reduction of platelet sensitivity to aggregating agents is a dose-dependent phenomenon. Furthermore, the comparison between the platelet responses after 5 and 30 min of incubation with insulin showed that the insulin effect on platelet aggregation is time dependent. The lack of specificity of its inhibiting activity suggests that insulin does not interfere with the initial binding of each aggregating agent at specific sites but does influence a common step of platelet aggregation. Our study rules out the possibility that insulin reduces platelet-function-modifying intraplatelet cAMP levels or thromboxane A2 production, because this hormone decreases the platelet concentrations of cAMP--a phenomenon that, per se, promotes platelet aggregation--and does not modify collagen or Na+ arachidonate--induced platelet production of thromboxane A2, measured by radioimmunoassay of its stable-metabolite thromboxane B2.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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