The Contribution of Platelets to Stress-Related Cardiovascular Disease

  • J. M. Gerrard
  • D. A. Peterson
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 45)


Platelets, small anucleated blood cells, have an important role in the genesis of cardiovascular disease. As part of the normal mechanism for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, platelets circulate in the blood stream ready to sense vascular injury and to coordinate any necessary repairs. It is in circumstances where a component of this repair process goes awry, or where repeated injury leads to inordinate degrees of damage and response in the vessel wall that cardiovascular disease tends to arise. Under conditions of stress a number of plasma constituents including catecholamines, von Willebrand factor, cholesterol and sometimes vasopressin may be raised and may contribute to an enhanced level of platelet responsiveness. This, together with other stress-associated changes, may be a significant contributor to the adverse effects of stress on the cardiovascular system. In this paper, I shall explore our current understanding of the role of platelets with emphasis on the influence of catecholamines and other stress related chemicals on the function of these cells.


Platelet Aggregation Platelet Activation Platelet Function Bleeding Time Platelet Agonist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    White JG, Gerrard JM: The cell biology of inflammation. In: Weissmann G. (ed) Platelet in cell biology. Elsevier/North Holland, Amsterdam, 1980, pp 83–144.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gordon JL: Platelet in biology and pathology-2. Elsevier/North Holland, Amsterdam, 1981.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gerrard JM, Friesen LL: Platelets. In: L. Poller (ed) Advances in blood coagulation-4. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, In press.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fauvel F, Grant ME, Legrand YJ, Souchon H, Tobelem G, Jackson DS, Caen JP: Interaction of blood platelets with microfibrillar extract from adult bovine aorta: requirement for von Willebrand factor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.(80):551–554, 1983.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mustard JF, Packham MA, Kinlough-Rathbone RL, Perry DW, Regoeczi E: Fibrinogen and ADP-induced platelet aggregation. Blood (52):453–466, 1978.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bennett JS, Vilaire G: Exposure of platelet fibrinogen receptors by ADP and epinephrine. J. Clin. Invest (64):1393–1401, 1979.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Marguerie GA, Plow EF: The fibrinogen dependent pathway for platelet aggregation. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci.(408):556–566, 1983.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gerrard JM, Peterson DA, White JG: Calcium mobilization. In: Gordon JL (ed) Platelets in biology and pathology-2. Elsevier/North Holland, Amsterdam, 1981, pp 407–436.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kaibuchi K, Takai Y, Sawamura M, Hoshijima M, Fujikura T, Nishizuka Y: Synergistic functions of protein phosphorylation and calcium mobilization in platelet activation. J. Biol. Chem.(258):6701–6704, 1983.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Carroll RC, Butler RG, Morris PA, Gerrard JM: Separable assembly of platelet pseudopodal and contractile cytoskeletons. Cell(30):385–393, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Agranoff BW, Murphy P, Sequin EB: Thrombin-induced phosphodiesteratic cleavage of phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate in human platelets. J. Biol. Chem.(258):2076–2078, 1983.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Streb H, Irvine RF, Berridge MJ, Schulz I: Release of Ca from a nonmitochondrial intracellular store in pancreatic acinar cells by inositol-4,5-trisphosphate. Nature(306):67– 69, 1983.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cohen I, Gerrard JM, White JG: Ultrastructure of clots during isometric contraction. J. Cell Biol.(93):775–787, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dawes J, Smith RC, Pepper DS: The release, distribution and clearance of human β-thromboglobulin and platelet factor 4. Thrombosis Res.(12):851–861, 1978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Granstrom E, Diczfalusy U, Hamberg M: The thromboxanes. In: Pace-Asciak C, Granstrom E (eds) Prostaglandins and related substances. Elsevier/ North Holland, Amsterdam, 1983, pp 45–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Haft JI, Arkel YS: Effect of emotional stress on platelet aggregation in humans. Chest(70):501–505, 1976.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mest H-J. Zehl U, Sziegoleit W, Taube C, Forster W: Influence of mental stress on plasma levels of prostaglandins, thromboxane B2 and on circulating platelet aggregates in man. Prost. Leuk. Med.(8):553–563, 1982.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sarajas HSS: Reaction patterns of blood platelets in exercise. Adv. Cardiol.(18):176–195, 1976.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mehta J, Mehta P: Comparison of platelet function during exercise in normal subjects and coronary artery disease patients:potential role of platelet activation in myocardial ischemia. Am. Heart J.(103):49–53, 1982PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Yamazaki H, Kobayashi E, Shimamoto T: Enhancement of ADP-induced platelet aggregation by exercise test in coronary patients and its prevention by pyridinolcarbamate. Thromb. Diath. Haemorrh(24):438, 1970.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Poller L, Priest CM, Thomas JM: Platelet aggregation and strenous exercise. Br. J. Physiol.(213):525–531, 1971.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Stratton JR, Malpass TW, Ritchie JL, Pfeifer MA, Harker LA: Studies of platelet factor 4 and 3 thromboglobulin release during exercise: lack of relationship to myocardial ischemia. Circulation(66):33–43, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Fitchett D, Gilmore N, Ehrman M: Platelet release of 3-thromboglobulin within the coronary circulation during cold pressor stress. Am. J. Cardiol.(52):727730, 1983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gerrard JM, Israels SJ, Cheang MS, Bishop AJ, Rayner HL, Kobrinsky Schroeder ML, Israels, ED: Association of age, hematocrit, platelet function, von Willebrand factor and prothrombin consumption with the length of the bleeding time. Blood, submitted.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Dimsdale JE, Moss J: Plasma catecholamines in stress and exercise. J.A.M.A.(243):340–342, 1980.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Grant JA, Scrutton MC: Positive interaction between agonists in the aggregation response of human blood platelets: interaction between ADP, adrenaline and vasopressin. Br. J. Haem.(44):109–125, 1980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Thomas. DP: Effect of catacholamines on platelet aggregation caused by thrombin. Nature(215):298–299, 1967.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Mills DCB, Roberts GCK: Effects of adrenaline on human blood platelets. J. Physiol,(193):443–453, 1967.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Shattil SJ, Anaya-Galindo R, Bennet J, et al: Platelet hypersensitivity induced by cholesterol incorporation. J. Clin. Invest.(55):636–643, 1975PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Carvalho ACA, Colman RW, Lees RS: Platelet function in hyperlipoproteinemia. N. Engl. J. Med.(290):434–438, 1974.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Scrutton MC: Metiamide is not an α2-adrenoceptor antagonist in human platelets. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.(32):438, 1980.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Carroll RC, Gerrard JM: unpublished results.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Haslam RJ, Davidson MML, Davies T, Lynham JA, McClenaghan MD: Regulation of blood platelet function by cyclic nucleotides. Adv. Cyclic Nucl. Res.(9):533–552, 1978.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Owen NE, Feinberg H, LeBreton GC: Epinephrine induced Ca uptake in human blood platelets. Am. J. Physiol.(239):H483-H488, 1980.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Brass LF, Shattil SJ: Changes in surface bound and exchangeable calcium during platelet activation. J. Biol. Chem.(257):1400, 1982.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Rao GHR, Reddy KR, White JG: The influence of epinephrine on prostacyclin (PGI2) induced dissociation of ADP aggregated platelets. Prostaglandins Med.(4):385–397, 1980.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Peterson DA, Gerrard JM, Glover SM, Rao GHR, White JG: Epinephrine reduction of heme: implication for understanding the transmission of an agonist stimulus. Science (215):71–73, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Newman KD, Williams LT, Bishopric NH, Lefkowitz RJ: Identification of alpha-adrenergic receptors in human platelets by (3H)dihydroergocryptine binding. J. Clin. Invest.(61):395–402, 1978.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Peterson DA, Gerrard JM: unpublished results.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    White JG, Rao GHR, Gerrard JM: Effects of nitroblue tetrazolium and vitamin E on platelet ultrastructure, aggregation and secretion. Amer. J. Pathol.(88):387–402, 1977.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Weiss HJ, Hoyer LW, Rickles FR, Varma A, Rogers J: Quantitative assay of plasma factor deficient in von Willebrand’s disease that is necessary for platelet aggregation. J. Clin. Invest.(52):27–28, 1973.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Kobrinsky NL, Israels ED, Gerrard JM, Cheang MS, Watson CM, Bishop AJ, Schroeder ML: Shortening of the bleeding time by l-deamino-8D-arginine vasopressin (DDAVP) in various bleeding disorders. Lancet(1):1145, 1984.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Meade TW: Epidemiology of atheroma and thrombosis. In: Bloom AL, Thomas DP (ed) Haemostasis and Thrombosis, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, pp 575–592, 1981.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Thomas CB, Murphy EA: Further studies on cholesterol levels in the Johns Hopkins Medical Students: Effect of stress at examinations. J. Chronic. Dis. (8):661–669, 1958.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Wertlake PT, Wilcox AA, Haley MI, Peterson JE: Relationship of mental and emotional stress to serum cholesterol levels. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med.(97):163–168, 1958.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Shattil SJ, Nirenberg P, Insel PA: Cholesterol incorporation into human platelets increase aggregation by epinephrine but does not change the number or affinity of α-adrenergic receptors. Clin. Res. (26):118A, 1978.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Stuart MJ, Gerrard JM, White JG: Effect of cholesterol on production of thromboxane B2 by platelets in vitro. New. Engl. J. Med.(302):6–10, 1980.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Boogaerts MA, Vermylen J, Deckmyn H, Roelant C, Verwilghen RL, Jacob HS, Moldow CF: Thromb. Haem.(50):572, 1983.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, Boston 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Gerrard
  • D. A. Peterson

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations