Platelets can respond to multiple antagonists and agonists, implying that their activation state is a consequence of past exposure to these substances. While platelets are often considered as one-time responsive cells, they likely can respond to sequential application of inhibitors and stimuli. We hypothesized that the ability of platelets to sequentially respond depends on the time and type of repeated agonist application. The present proof-of-concept data show that iloprost (cAMP elevation), tirofiban (integrin alpha(IIb)beta(3) blocker) and Syk kinase inhibition subacutely modulated platelet aggregation, i.e. halted this process even when applied after agonist. In comparison to thrombin-activated receptor (PAR) stimulation, glycoprotein VI (GPVI) stimulation was less sensitive to time-dependent blockage of aggregation, with Syk inhibition as an exception. Furthermore, cytosolic Ca2+ measurements indicated that, when compared to PAR, prior GPVI stimulation induced a more persistent, priming activation state of platelets that influenced the response to a next agent. Overall, these data point to an unexpected priming memory of activated platelets in subacutely responding to another inhibitor or stimulus, with a higher versatility and faster offset after PAR stimulation than after GPVI stimulation.
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