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Recent studies have suggested that the protective anti-ischemic effects of acetylsalicylic acid are stronger than the inhibition of platelet thromboxane A2 synthesis. Since ischemic events still occur in acetylsalicylic acid-treated patients, the development of new drugs with more powerful protective effects is needed. We compared the effects of a new platelet antiaggregating drug, 2-acetoxy-4-trifluoromethyl-benzoic acid (triflusal) and of acetylsalicylic acid on the interaction between human neutrophils and platelets, examining the capability of neutrophils to generate nitric oxide (NO). Triflusal, in the presence of neutrophils, showed a greater antiplatelet potency than acetylsalicylic acid to inhibit thrombin-induced platelet activation. Significant stimulation of NO-mediated mechanisms in the presence of acetylsalicylic acid or triflusal was demonstrated by the following findings: (1) increased metabolism of arginine to citrulline, (2) increase of cGMP in the platelet/neutrophil system and (3) the inhibitory action of the L-arginine (L-Arg) competitive analogue, NG-nitro-L-arginine-methyl ester (L-NAME), which was reversed by L-Arg. Triflusal increased the stimulation of NO synthesis by neutrophils more than did of acetylsalicylic acid. The main metabolite of triflusal, 2-hydroxy-4-trifluoromethylbenzoic acid (HTB), alone or in combination with acetylsalicylic acid, did not modify NO production by neutrophils. Therefore, the whole molecule of triflusal is needed to stimulate NO production by neutrophils. Our results show that, in the presence of neutrophils, triflusal exerts an antiplatelet effect greater than that of acetylsalicylic acid, demonstrating a more powerful stimulation of the NO/cGMP system. The present results indicate that it is possible to develop new and more potent acetylsalicylic acid-related antiplatelet drugs for the prevention of the myocardial ischemic/reperfusion processes.


L Sánchez de Miguel, S Casado, J Farré, M García-Durán, L A Rico, M Montón, J Romero, T Bellver, M P Sierra, J I Guerra, P Mata, A Esteban, A López-Farré. Comparison of in vitro effects of triflusal and acetysalicylic acid on nitric oxide synthesis by human neutrophils. European journal of pharmacology. 1998 Feb 5;343(1):57-65

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PMID: 9551715

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