Mdhasan Imam

and 6 more

Background and purpose: The pathophysiology of coronary artery spasm ( CAS), with its associated ischaemic crises, is currently poorly understood, and treatment is frequently ineffective. In view of increasing evidence that platelet- platelet based defects may occur in CAS patients,. we investigated platelet reactivity in CAS patients and whether symptomatic crises reflect activation of platelet-endothelial interactions. Experimental approach: CAS patients were evaluated during acute and/or chronic symptomatic phases, and compared with healthy control subjects. Inhibition of platelet aggregation with ADP by the nitric oxide (NO) donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP), . and plasma levels of syndecan-1 (glycocalyx shedding marker), tryptase (mast cell activation marker), and platelet microparticles were measured. Key Results: Inhibition of aggregation by SNP was impaired in chronic CAS, and tended to deteriorate further during symptomatic crises, while plasma levels of syndecan-1, tryptase and platelet microparticles increased. Infusion of high dose N-acetylcysteine (NAC) plus glyceryl trinitrate rapidly restored platelet responsiveness to SNP and decreased plasma syndecan-1 levels. The effect of NAC on platelet responsiveness to SNP was mimicked in vitro by the H2S donor NaHS. Conversely, inhibition of enzymatic release of H2S attenuated NAC effect. Conclusion and Implications: CAS is associated with substantial impairment of platelet NO signaling. During acute symptomatic exacerbations, platelet resistance to NO is aggravated, together with mast cell activation and damage to both vasculature and platelets. NAC reverses platelet resistance to NO via release of H2S, and reverses glycocalyx shedding during symptomatic crises: this suggests that H2S donors may correct the pathophysiological anomalies underlying CAS.