Platelets are the most abundant blood source of CD40L, a proinflammatory and prothrombotic costimulatory molecule implicated in atherosclerosis. Agonist stimulation results in the secretion of a soluble form of CD40L (sCD40L) and GP IIb/IIIa receptor inhibition blocks secretion of sCD40L in vitro. However, the effect of GP IIb/IIIa inhibition on sCD40L levels in humans is unknown. Plasma sCD40L and inflammatory markers were measured (t = 0, 0.5, 2, and 24 hr post-PCI) in a cohort of patients receiving abciximab (n = 15), eptifibatide (n = 15), or no GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor (n = 15). PCI in the absence of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor was associated with a small but measurable rise in sCD40L and the platelet-derived chemokine RANTES. In contrast, eptifibatide significantly lowered baseline sCD40L (P = 0.018) and RANTES (P = 0.006) levels. This effect was not observed with abciximab. GP IIb/IIIa inhibition with eptifibatide lowers levels of sCD40L and RANTES post-stenting, possibly conferring anti-inflammatory as well as antithrombotic effects.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.