Increased in vivo production of thromboxane in patients with sickle cell disease is accompanied by an impairment of platelet functions to the thromboxane A2 agonist U46619.
Thrombosis represents an important cause of mortality in patients with sickle cell disease, in addition to the complications caused by the primary defect of inherited abnormal hemoglobin. To study the involvement of platelets in these complications, we assessed the biosynthesis of thromboxane A2 in samples from 49 patients with sickle cell disease and in 33 control subjects. The urinary excretion of the major arachidonic acid metabolite of platelet origin (11-dehydro-thromboxane B2) and of the vascular endothelial cell (2,3-dinor-6-ketoprostaglandin F1 alpha) were very significantly increased (p < 0.0002) in the patients. In a small group of patients (n = 14), we further investigated the ex vivo response of their platelets to U46619, a stable analogue of thromboxane A2. We observed decreased aggregation and [14C]serotonin release compared with control (p < 0.05); similarly, we found impaired p47 protein phosphorylation (p < 0.05). In contrast, platelets from these patients responded normally to thrombin (0.1 unit/mL). In vivo desensitization of platelets from these patients to thromboxane may constitute a form of regulation that may prevent the propagation of aggregation by this potent inducer, as has been hypothesized in in vitro studies. Our results may also provide a rationale for using antiplatelet drugs in the prophylaxis of thrombotic complications in sickle cell patients.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association