Original Article


, 4:24

First online:

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New mechanisms of antiplatelet activity of nifedipine, an L-type calcium channel blocker

  • Tz-Chong ChouAffiliated withInstitute of Medical Sciences, Tzu Chi University Email author 


Platelet hyperactivity often occursd in hypertensive patients and is a key factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases including thrombosis and atherosclerosis. Nifedipine, an L-type calcium channel blocker, is widely used for hypertension and coronary heart disease therapy. In addition, nifedipine is known to exhibit an antiplatelet activity, but the underlying mechanisms involved remain unclear. Several transcription factors such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) exist in platelets and have an ability to regulate platelet aggregation through a non-genomic mechanism. The present article focuses on describing the mechanisms of the antiplatelet activity of nifedipine via PPAR activation. It has been demonstrated that nifedipine treatment increases the activity and intracellular amount of PPAR-β/-γ in activated platelets. Moreover, the antiplatelet activity of nifedipine is mediated by PPAR-β/-γ-dependent upon the up-regulation of the PI3K/AKT/NO/cyclic GMP/PKG pathway, and inhibition of protein kinase Cα (PKCα) activity via an interaction between PPAR-β/-γ and PKCα. Furthermore, suppressing NF-κB activation by nifedipine through enhanced association of PPAR-β/-γ with NF-κB has also been observed in collagen-stimulated platelets. Blocking PPAR-β/-γ activity or increasing NF-κB activation greatly reverses the antiplatelet activity and inhibition of intracellular Ca2+ mobilization, PKCα activity, and surface glycoprotein IIb/IIIa expression caused by nifedipine. Thus, PPAR-β/-γ- dependent suppression of NF-κB activation also contributes to the antiplatelet activity of nifedipine. Consistently, administration of nifedipine markedly reduces fluorescein sodium-induced vessel thrombus formation in mice, which is considerably inhibited when the PPAR-β/-γ antagonists are administrated simultaneously. Collectively, these results provide important information regarding the mechanism by which nifedipine inhibits platelet aggregation and thrombus formation through activation of PPAR-β/-γ- mediated signaling pathways. These findings highlight that PPARs are novel therapeutic targets for preventing and treating platelet-hyperactivity-related vascular diseases.


Nifedipine Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors Nuclear factor-κB Platelet aggregation Protein kinase Cα Nitric oxide