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An L-arginine/nitric oxide pathway present in human platelets regulates aggregation.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (1990-07-01)
M W Radomski, R M Palmer, S Moncada

Aggregation of human washed platelets with collagen is accompanied by a concentration-dependent increase in cyclic GMP but not cyclic AMP. NG-Monomethyl-L-arginine (L-MeArg), a selective inhibitor of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis from L-arginine, reduces this increase and enhances aggregation. L-Arginine, which has no effect on the basal levels of cyclic GMP, augments the increase in this nucleotide induced by collagen and also inhibits aggregation. Both of these effects of L-arginine are attenuated by L-MeArg. The anti-aggregatory action of L-arginine is potentiated by prostacyclin and by M&B22948, a selective inhibitor of the cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase, but not by HL725, a selective inhibitor of the cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase. L-Arginine also inhibits platelet aggregation in whole blood in a similar manner, although the concentrations required are considerably higher. L-Arginine stimulates the soluble guanylate cyclase and increases cyclic GMP in platelet cytosol. This stimulation is dependent on NADPH and Ca2+ and is associated with the formation of NO. Both the formation of NO and the stimulation of the soluble guanylate cyclase induced by L-arginine are enantiomer specific and abolished by L-MeArg. Thus, human platelets contain an NO synthase which is activated when platelets are stimulated. The consequent generation of NO modulates platelet reactivity by increasing cyclic GMP. Changes in the activity of this pathway in platelets may have physiological, pathophysiological, and therapeutic significance.

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DL-Dithiothreitol, ≥99.0% (RT)