Metabolic Manipulation to Put the Brakes on Platelet Activation
A Potential Novel Pharmacologic Approach to Atherothrombosis
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Antiplatelet therapeutics are a mainstay of primary and secondary prevention strategies for thrombotic cardiovascular and neurovascular diseases. Currently available agents, aspirin and thienopyridines, directly target platelet activation pathways mediated by thromboxane A2 (the major metabolic product of platelet cyclooxygenase) and ADP. These critical pathways are responsible for amplifying platelet responses to vascular injury, and although this pharmacological approach has proven to be effective and safe, it is not perfect; many patients experience thrombotic events despite taking these drugs, and many experience bleeding complications. Exploiting novel targets to improve efficacy is, thus, an important avenue of translational research.
See accompanying article on page 2068
In this issue of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, Yeung et al1 provide compelling evidence that targeting metabolic pathways downstream of a specific long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid, ω-6-dihomo-γ-linoleic acid (DGLA), could provide thromboprotection by activating intracellular platelet inhibitory pathway(s) that represent a natural braking system triggered normally by endogenous soluble …