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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Inhibition of platelet adhesion to surfaces of extracorporeal circuits by disintegrins. RGD-containing peptides from viper venoms.

Previous studies indicate that exposure of fibrinogen receptors associated with glycoprotein IIb/IIIa complex contributes to platelet loss during cardiopulmonary bypass. Recently, we isolated a number of RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp)-containing, low molecular weight, cysteine-rich peptides from viper venoms. These peptides, which we propose to call "disintegrins," block platelet-fibrinogen interaction and platelet aggregation. We compared the effect of RGDS (Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser) and four disintegrins (echistatin, flavoridin, albolabrin, and bitistatin) on platelet behavior in a membrane oxygenator. During simulated extracorporeal circulation for 2 hours, platelet count decreased to about 30% of initial values. Addition of echistatin (60-200 nM), albolabrin (60-200 nM), bitistatin (60 nM), and flavoridin (45 nM) significantly inhibited platelet loss in the circuit. RGDS (33 microM) did not show any significant inhibitory effect. ADP-induced platelet aggregation was inhibited in samples of platelet-rich plasma taken from the circuits containing disintegrins. However, echistatin appeared to be a more potent inhibitor of platelet aggregation, whereas albolabrin and flavoridin interfered more selectively with platelet loss from the circuit. Echistatin prevented the accumulation of glycoprotein IIIa on the surface of the circuit. Echistatin (60-200 nM), flavoridin (45 nM), bitistatin (60 nM), and albolabrin (200 nM) significantly inhibited the loss of beta-thromboglobulin from platelets into circulating plasma. Electron microscopy studies demonstrated shape change but not degranulation in platelets circulating in the presence of 200 nM echistatin. On the other hand, this peptide (up to 1,000 nM) did not prevent loss of alpha granules and beta-thromboglobulin from thrombin-stimulated platelets, although it prevented their aggregation. In conclusion, disintegrins protect platelets in the circuit by preventing their adhesion to surfaces and, therefore, preventing fragmentation of adhered platelets under the shear stress of flowing blood. This study indicates that disintegrins may be potential candidates for platelet protection during cardiopulmonary bypass.[1]


  1. Inhibition of platelet adhesion to surfaces of extracorporeal circuits by disintegrins. RGD-containing peptides from viper venoms. Musial, J., Niewiarowski, S., Rucinski, B., Stewart, G.J., Cook, J.J., Williams, J.A., Edmunds, L.H. Circulation (1990) [Pubmed]
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