Chronic Treatment With Ticagrelor Limits Myocardial Infarct Size
An Adenosine and Cyclooxygenase-2-Dependent Effect
Objective—In a phase III clinical trial (PLATelet inhibition and patient Outcomes, PLATO), ticagrelor provided better clinical outcomes than clopidogrel in patients with acute coronary syndromes. In addition to P2Y12-receptor antagonism, ticagrelor prevents cell uptake of adenosine and has proven able to augment adenosine effects. Adenosine protects the heart against ischemia–reperfusion injury. We compared the effects of clopidogrel and ticagrelor on myocardial infarct size (IS).
Approach and Results—Rats received oral ticagrelor (0, 75, 150, or 300 mg/kg/d) or clopidogrel (30 or 90 mg/kg/d) for 7 days and underwent 30-minute coronary artery ligation and 24-hour reperfusion. Area at risk was assessed by blue dye and IS by 2,3,5-triphenyl-tetrazolium-chloride. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) enzyme activity was assessed by ELISA and expression by RT-PCR. Mechanism responsible was explored using adenosine-receptor antagonist (CGS15943, an A2A/A1 antagonist) or cyclooxygenase inhibition by either aspirin (5, 10, or 25 mg/kg) or specific cyclooxygenase-1 (SC560) or COX2 (SC5815) inhibitors. Ticagrelor, dose-dependently, reduced IS, whereas clopidogrel had no effect. Adenosine-receptor antagonism blocked the ticagrelor effect and COX2 inhibition by SC5815, or high-dose aspirin attenuated the IS-limiting effect of ticagrelor, whereas cyclooxygenase-1 inhibition or low-dose aspirin had no effect. Ticagrelor, but not clopidogrel, upregulated COX2 expression and activity. Also this effect was blocked by adenosine-receptor antagonism. Ticagrelor, but not clopidogrel, increased Akt and eNOS phosphorylation.
Conclusions—Ticagrelor, but not clopidogrel, reduces myocardial IS. The protective effect of ticagrelor was dependent on adenosine-receptor activation with downstream upregulation of eNOS and COX2 activity.
- Received May 15, 2014.
- Accepted June 27, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.