Platelet-mediated thrombosis in stenosed canine coronary arteries: Inhibition by nicergoline, a platelet-active alpha-adrenergic antagonist

Roberto Bolli, J. Anthony Ware, Tedd A. Brandon, Donald G. Weilbaecher, Myles L. Mace

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18 Scopus citations


The effects of nicergoline, a new agent that blocks alpha-adrenergic receptors and inhibits platelet phospholipase, were evaluated in a canine model of platelet-mediated coronary thrombosis. In 48 open chest dogs, the circumflex coronary artery was stenosed by plicating the artery wall with a suture. Thirty-four of the 48 dogs exhibited cyclic reductions in flow in the stenotic vessel, followed by a sudden return to control levels. The reductions in flow were unabated in all but two dogs after heparin administration (1,000 U/kg per h), unaffected by large doses of nitroglycerin and nifedipine and associated with platelet aggregates in the stenotic segment (demonstrated by histologic and electron microscopic examination). These observations support the conclusion that the flow reductions were caused by platelet aggregation rather than by fibrin deposition or vasospasm. Twenty dogs were monitored for 1 hour after heparin administration and then assigned to a control (n = 7) or nicergoline-treated (n = 13; 1 mg/kg intravenously) group. In control dogs, cyclic reductions in flow continued unchanged for another hour, whereas in the treated group they were markedly decreased in 1 dog and completely abolished in the other 12 dogs. Aspirin (30 mg/ kg intravenously) suppressed flow reductions in all control dogs, confirming the primary role of platelet aggregation in the phenomenon. This study provides a modified model of platelet-mediated thrombosis in stenosed coronary arteries. Furthermore, the results indicate that nicergoline can effectively interfere with platelet function in vivo. The potent antithrombotic activity exhibited by nicergoline might enhance the therapeutic usefulness of this vasodilator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1417-1426
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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