Sustained antiplatelet properties of nitroglycerin during hemodynamic tolerance in rats

Brian P. Booth, Saji Jacob, John A. Bauer, Ho Leung Fung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Organic nitrates possess important antiplatelet actions that are useful in the treatment of unstable angina and myocardial infarction, but the susceptibility of platelets to nitrate tolerance has not been extensively studied. In normal conscious rats, we showed that continuous infusion of nitroglycerin (NTG) at 10 μg/min had no significant effect on mean arterial pressure (MAP) as compared with control, but hemodynamic tolerance could be demonstrated by MAP response to a bolus intravenous (i.v.) NTG challenge. By this criterion, continuous 8-h NTG infusion produced hemodynamic tolerance (a decrease in MAP response of 45.7 ± 19.9%, p < 0.05), whereas D5W control and S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) infusions did not. During NTG infusion, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) cyclic GMP was increased by 41.4 ± 13.6% as compared with control and remained increased throughout the infusion (p < 0.05). Bleeding time during a 2-h infusion of NTG was 8.9 ± 1.2 min as compared to 3.8 ± 0.4 min in controls (p < 0.05). After 8-h of NTG infusion, the bleeding time was 10.2 ± 1.4 min versus 4.4 ± 0.4 min in controls (p < 0.05). NTG also decreased the PRP platelet concentration by 30% in 8 h, whereas D5W had no effect. In vitro experiments showed that platelets in themselves do not produce significant amounts of cyclic GMP. These data indicate that the biochemical and antiaggregation effects of NTG on platelets are not diminished during hemodynamic tolerance and that these effects may be dependent on extraplatelet production of nitric oxide (NO).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-438
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


  • Bleeding time
  • Cyclic GMP
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Platelets
  • Tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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