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Platelet Inhibition by Nitrite Is Dependent on Erythrocytes and Deoxygenation
Published: Friday, January 20, 2012
Author: Sirada Srihirun et al.

by Sirada Srihirun, Thanaporn Sriwantana, Supeenun Unchern, Dusadee Kittikool, Egarit Noulsri, Kovit Pattanapanyasat, Suthat Fucharoen, Barbora Piknova, Alan N. Schechter, Nathawut Sibmooh


Nitrite is a nitric oxide (NO) metabolite in tissues and blood, which can be converted to NO under hypoxia to facilitate tissue perfusion. Although nitrite is known to cause vasodilation following its reduction to NO, the effect of nitrite on platelet activity remains unclear. In this study, the effect of nitrite and nitrite+erythrocytes, with and without deoxygenation, on platelet activity was investigated.


Platelet aggregation was studied in platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and PRP+erythrocytes by turbidimetric and impedance aggregometry, respectively. In PRP, DEANONOate inhibited platelet aggregation induced by ADP while nitrite had no effect on platelets. In PRP+erythrocytes, the inhibitory effect of DEANONOate on platelets decreased whereas nitrite at physiologic concentration (0.1 ┬ÁM) inhibited platelet aggregation and ATP release. The effect of nitrite+erythrocytes on platelets was abrogated by C-PTIO (a membrane-impermeable NO scavenger), suggesting an NO-mediated action. Furthermore, deoxygenation enhanced the effect of nitrite as observed from a decrease of P-selectin expression and increase of the cGMP levels in platelets. The ADP-induced platelet aggregation in whole blood showed inverse correlations with the nitrite levels in whole blood and erythrocytes.


Nitrite alone at physiological levels has no effect on platelets in plasma. Nitrite in the presence of erythrocytes inhibits platelets through its reduction to NO, which is promoted by deoxygenation. Nitrite may have role in modulating platelet activity in the circulation, especially during hypoxia.