Abstract 283: Platelet Inhibition Increases Angiotensin II-induced Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Incidence and Rupture in Mice
Objective Platelets play a central role in both hemostasis and thrombosis. The coagulation protease thrombin activates platelets by cleavage of protease-activated receptors (PAR1 and PAR4 in humans, and PAR3 and PAR4 in mice). Circulating thrombin is increased in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). We recently demonstrated that PAR4 deficiency in mice increased the incidence of aneurysm (P = 0.001) and rupture-induced death (P = 0.003) in an angiotensin II (AngII) infusion model of AAA. Furthermore, platelet depletion significantly increased rupture in this model (P = 0.048). The purpose of this study was to examine clinically used anti-platelet drugs in this mouse model of AAA.
Methods and Results Male Ldlr-/- mice (8-12 weeks in age) were fed a fat and cholesterol-enriched diet (21% milk fat, 0.2% cholesterol). Groups of mice received either aspirin (30 mg/L via drinking water [ASA]), or diet supplemented with the direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran etexilate (10 g/kg chow [DE]) or the P2Y12 inhibitor clopidogrel (50 mg/kg/day [Plavix]) 1 week prior to and throughout AngII (1,000 ng/kg/min) infusion for 28 days. Drug bioavailability was confirmed with all treatments. Medial diameters in the suprarenal aortic region were increased significantly from baseline to day 28 in all groups infused with AngII, as measured by in vivo ultrasound. Medial diameters were not different in any of the treatment groups compared with placebo controls. However, DE (87% vs. 47%) and Plavix (82% vs. 40%) significantly increased the incidence of AAA versus placebo groups (P < 0.05). ASA also increased the incidence of AAA (93% vs. 70% P = NS). Importantly, all treatments had a significant increase in aortic rupture-induced death versus placebo groups (P < 0.05; DE [67% vs. 7%]; Plavix [41% vs. 0%]; and ASA [64% vs. 10%]). None of the treatments affected total plasma cholesterol, lipoprotein-cholesterol distributions, or AngII-induced increases in systolic blood pressure.
Conclusion This study indicates that the presence of functional platelets reduces the formation and rupture of AAA in this mouse model. This suggests that inhibition of platelet function may be detrimental to patients with existing AAAs, a conclusion that will be addressed in future mouse studies.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.