New mechanism of action for cilostazol: interplay between adenosine and cilostazol in inhibiting platelet activation

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2002 Oct;40(4):577-85. doi: 10.1097/00005344-200210000-00011.


Cilostazol, a potent phosphodiesterase 3 inhibitor and anti-thrombotic agent, was recently shown to inhibit adenosine uptake into cardiac myocytes and vascular cells. In the present studies, cilostazol inhibited [ H]-adenosine uptake in both platelets and erythrocytes with a median inhibitory concentration (IC ) of 7 micro M. Next collagen-induced platelet aggregation was studied and it was found that adenosine (1 micro M ), having no effect by itself, shifted the IC of cilostazol from 2.66 micro M to 0.38 micro M (p < 0.01). This shifting was due to an enhanced accumulation of cAMP in platelets and was significantly larger than that by the combination of adenosine and milrinone, which has no effect on adenosine uptake. Similarly, cilostazol, by blocking adenosine uptake, enhanced the adenosine-mediated cAMP increase in Chinese hamster ovary cells that overexpress human A receptor. Furthermore, the inhibitory effect of cilostazol on platelet aggregation in whole blood was significantly reversed by ZM241385 (100 n ), an A adenosine receptor antagonist, and by adenosine deaminase (2 U/ml). These data suggest that the inhibitory effects of cilostazol on adenosine uptake and phosphodiesterase 3 together elevate intracellular cAMP, resulting in greater inhibition of agonist-induced platelet activation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Adenosine / metabolism*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • Cilostazol
  • Cricetinae
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Platelet Activation / drug effects*
  • Platelet Activation / physiology
  • Tetrazoles / metabolism
  • Tetrazoles / pharmacology*


  • Tetrazoles
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Adenosine
  • Cilostazol