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Metformin reduces platelet hypersensitivity in hypercholesterolemic rabbits

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      Abstract

      The effects of Metformin treatment on platelet responsiveness to aggregating agents was studied in cholesterol-fed rabbits. Three groups of animals were fed, for one month, either a normal (N), or a hypercholesterolemic (HC), or a hypercholesterolemic + 0.5% Metformin diet (HC + Met). Platelets from the HC rabbits required significantly lower collagen and arachidonic acid concentrations to aggregate, as compared to platelets from N rabbits. The platelet response from the HC + Met rabbits was not significantly different from that of normals. The cholesterol/phospholipid ratio in platelets was increased in both dietary groups (HC, HC + Met). The serum thromboxane B2 concentrations did not show any significant difference between the groups. Plasma exchange experiments failed to indicate a specific effect of the plasma environment on platelet behaviour. In view of the inactivity of metformin on the platelet cyclooxygenase pathway, the reported results suggest that metformin may act by an as yet unexplored mechanism.

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