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Blood. 1993 Nov 1;82(9):2704-13.

Prostaglandin E2 potentiates platelet aggregation by priming protein kinase C.

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Institute of Internal and Vascular Medicine, University of Perugia, Italy.


Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is produced by activated platelets and by several other cells, including capillary endothelial cells. PGE2 exerts a dual effect on platelet aggregation: inhibitory, at high, supraphysiologic concentrations, and potentiating, at low concentrations. No information exists on the biochemical mechanisms through which PGE2 exerts its proaggregatory effect on human platelets. We have evaluated the activity of PGE2 on human platelets and have analyzed the second messenger pathways involved. PGE2 (5 to 500 nmol/L) significantly enhanced aggregation induced by subthreshold concentrations of U46619, thrombin, adenosine diphosphate (ADP), and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) without simultaneously increasing calcium transients. At a high concentration (50 mumol/L), PGE2 inhibited both aggregation and calcium movements. PGE2 (5 to 500 nmol/L) significantly enhanced secretion of beta-thromboglobulin (beta TG) and adenosine triphosphate from U46619- and ADP-stimulated platelets, but it did not affect platelet shape change. PGE2 also increased the binding of radiolabeled fibrinogen to the platelet surface and increased the phosphorylation of the 47-kD protein in 32P-labeled platelets stimulated with subthreshold doses of U46619. Finally, the amplification of U46619-induced aggregation by PGE2 (500 nmol/L) was abolished by four different protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors (calphostin C, staurosporine, H7, and TMB8). Our results suggest that PGE2 exerts its facilitating activity on agonist-induced platelet activation by priming PKC to activation by other agonists. PGE2 potentiates platelet activation at concentrations produced by activated platelets and may thus be of pathophysiologic relevance.

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