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Open Access Original basic research

Endothelial cells influence the sodium nitroprusside mediated inhibition of platelet aggregation by an as yet unkown pathway

Hans-Georg Topf*, Manfred Rauh, Wolfgang Rascher, Jörg Dötsch and Jens M Klinge

Author Affiliations

Klinik für Kinder und Jugendliche, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Loschgestr 15, 91054, Erlangen, Germany

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Thrombosis Journal 2012, 10:6  doi:10.1186/1477-9560-10-6

Published: 7 May 2012


The clinical use of Sodium nitroprusside (SNP) may be associated with an alteration of platelet function. The main focus of this study was the effect of SNP on platelet aggregation in the absence or presence of endothelial cells.

Methods: Platelets were incubated with different concentrations of SNP with and without endothelial cells. Platelet aggregation was induced by ADP.

Results: Platelet aggregation was significantly inhibited by all concentrations of SNP. Endothelial cells significantly increased this inhibitory effect of SNP. Time course studies showed an inverse correlation of incubation time to platelet aggregation inhibition in the absence of endothelial cells, and a direct correlation in the presence of endothelial cells. Blocking platelet and endothelial cell guanylate cyclase with 1 H-(1,2,4)-oxadiazolo(4,3-a) quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ), or pretreatment of the endothelial cells with cyclooxygenase – inhibitors, had no influence on the increased inhibitory effect of the endothelial cells. Cyanide reversed the inhibitory effect of SNP completely.

Conclusion: Endothelial cells play an important role in the SNP mediated inhibition of platelet aggregation. The effect is reversible only by cyanide, not by blocking classical NO signal transduction.

Nitric oxide (NO); Platelet aggregation; Sodium-nitro-prusside (SNP); Cyanide; Endothelial cells