Thromboxane (Tx) A2 is a vasoconstrictor and platelet agonist. Aspirin affords cardioprotection through inhibition of TxA2 formation by platelet cyclooxygenase (COX-1). Prostacyclin (PGI2) is a vasodilator that inhibits platelet function. Here we show that injury-induced vascular proliferation and platelet activation are enhanced in mice that are genetically deficient in the PGI2 receptor (IP) but are depressed in mice genetically deficient in the TxA2 receptor (TP) or treated with a TP antagonist. The augmented response to vascular injury was abolished in mice deficient in both receptors. Thus, PGI2 modulates platelet-vascular interactions in vivo and specifically limits the response to TxA2. This interplay may help explain the adverse cardiovascular effects associated with selective COX-2 inhibitors, which, unlike aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), inhibit PGI2 but not TxA2.
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