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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2008 Mar;28(3):s39-42. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.107.160226. Epub 2008 Jan 3.

Translational therapeutics of dipyridamole.

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Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Dipyridamole (DP) is a phosphodiesterase inhibitor that increases the intracellular levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanine monophosphate (cGMP) by preventing their conversion to AMP and GMP, respectively. By increasing cAMP and cGMP levels in platelets, DP reversibly inhibits platelet aggregation and platelet-mediated thrombotic disease. In addition, DP may potentiate some of the vascular protective effects of endothelium-derived nitric oxide (NO), which increases cGMP by stimulating soluble guanylyl cyclase. Endothelium-derived NO is an important regulator of vascular tone, blood flow, and tissue perfusion. Indeed, endothelial NO synthase-deficient (eNOS-/-) mice exhibit elevated systemic blood pressure and have larger myocardial and cerebral infarct size after ischemic injury. Other NO/cGMP-dependent effects that may be potentiated by DP include inhibition of vascular smooth muscle proliferation and prevention of endothelial-leukocyte interaction. In addition, DP increases local concentrations of adenosine and prostacyclin, which could affect vascular tone and inflammation. Finally, DP has antioxidant properties, which could stabilize platelet and vascular membranes as well as prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein. These platelet and nonplatelet actions of DP may contribute to some of its therapeutic benefits in vascular disease.

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