The primary phase of ADP-induced aggregation of human platelets does not involve appreciable formation of thromboxane A2 or release of granule contents; lack of formation of inositol trisphosphate has also been noted. Because these responses of platelets to ADP differ so markedly from their responses to other aggregating agents, the roles in ADP-induced aggregation of diacylglycerol, protein kinase C, increases in cytosolic [Ca2+], phosphorylation of pleckstrin (47 kDa) and phosphatases 1 and 2a were investigated. Washed human platelets, prelabelled with [14C]5-hydroxytryptamine and suspended in Tyrode solution (2 mM Ca2+, 1 mM Mg2+), were used for comparisons between the aggregation induced by 2-4 microM ADP, in the presence of fibrinogen, and that induced by 0.05 units/ml thrombin. The diacylglycerol kinase inhibitor 6-(2-[(4-fluorophenyl)phenyl-methylene]-1-piperidinylethyl)-7-meth yl-5H-thiazolo[3,2-a]-pyrimidin-5-one (R59022; 25 microM) had no, or only a slight, enhancing effect on ADP-induced aggregation, but potentiated thrombin-induced responses to a much greater extent. 1,2-Dihexanoyl-sn-glycerol or 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol (25 microM) added with or 30-90 s before ADP greatly potentiated aggregation without formation of thromboxane; staurosporine, an inhibitor of protein kinase C, reduced this potentiation. Staurosporine (25 nM) did not inhibit ADP-induced aggregation, although it strongly inhibited thrombin-induced aggregation and release of [14C]5-hydroxytryptamine. All these observations indicate little or no dependence of primary ADP-induced aggregation on the formation of diacylglycerol or on the activation of protein kinase C. At 2-4 microM, ADP did not significantly increase the phosphorylation of pleckstrin (studied with platelets prelabelled with [32P]orthophosphate), but 1,2-dihexanoyl-sn-glycerol- induced phosphorylation of pleckstrin was increased by ADP. Surprisingly, the diacylglycerols strongly inhibited the ADP-induced rise in cytosolic [Ca2+] concurrently with potentiation of ADP-induced aggregation; thus the extent of primary aggregation is independent of the level to which cytosolic [Ca2+] rises. Incubation of platelets with 1,2-dihexanoyl-sn-glycerol or 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol for several minutes reversed their potentiating effects on aggregation, and inhibition was observed. Incubation of platelets with okadaic acid, an inhibitor of phosphatases 1 and 2a, inhibited ADP- and thrombin-induced aggregation; although the reason for this effect is unknown, it is unlikely to involve inhibition of phospholipase C, since formation of diacylglycerol appears to have little involvement in the primary phase of ADP-induced aggregation.

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