Subtype-selective antagonists of lysophosphatidic acid receptors inhibit platelet activation triggered by the lipid core of atherosclerotic plaques


Background - Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a platelet-activating component of mildly oxidized LDL (mox-LDL) and lipids isolated from human atherosclerotic plaques. Specific antagonists of platelet LPA receptors could be useful inhibitors of thrombus formation in patients with cardiovascular disease. Methods and Results - Short-chain analogs of phosphatidic acid (PA) were examined for their effect on two initial platelet responses, platelet shape change and Ca2+ mobilization. Dioctylglycerol pyrophosphate [DGPP(8:0)] and dioctylphosphatidic acid [PA(8:0)], recently described selective antagonists of the LPA1 and LPA3 receptors, inhibited platelet activation evoked by LPA but not by other platelet stimuli. DGPP(8:0) was more potent than PA(8:0). DGPP(8:0) also inhibited platelet shape change induced by mox-LDL and lipid extracts from human atherosclerotic plaques. Notably, we demonstrate for the first time that the lipid-rich core isolated from soft plaques was able to directly induce shape change. This effect was completely abrogated by prior incubation of platelets with DGPP(8:0). Moreover, coapplication of the lipid-rich core or LPA together with subthreshold concentrations of ADP or epinephrine synergistically induced platelet aggregation; this effect was inhibited by DGPP(8:0). Analysis by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry revealed the presence of LPA alkyl- and acyl-molecular species with high platelet-activating potency (16:0-alkyl-LPA, 20:4-acyl-LPA). Conclusions - LPA molecules present in the core region of atherosclerotic plaques trigger rapid platelet activation through the stimulation of LPA1 and LPA3 receptors. Antagonists of platelet LPA receptors might provide a new strategy to prevent thrombus formation in patients with cardiovascular diseases.

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