Young male smokers have altered platelets and endothelium that precedes atherosclerosis

J Surg Res. 2004 Feb;116(2):227-33. doi: 10.1016/S0022-4804(03)00343-3.


Background: Cigarette smoking results in abnormalities of platelets and endothelium with platelet dysfunction implicated in vascular complications. Healthy endothelium plays a pivotal role in regulating hemostasis via the inhibition of platelet activation and aggregation. Thus, we examined if platelet dysfunction correlated with serum vWF levels-a circulating marker of endothelial dysfunction.

Materials and methods: We tested this hypothesis in young male smokers. The parameters of platelet function tested included: CD62/CD63; Glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa; Platelet function analzyer (PFA) studies, platelet aggregometry, flow assessment of platelet microparticles, platelet-leukocyte interactions and receptor numbers. Endothelial dysfunction was assessed with serum von Willebrand Factor (vWF).

Results: There was a significant increase in platelet CD62 receptor expression and aggregation with an associated delay in time to aggregation using PFA. Endothelial dysfunction was represented by higher serum levels of von Willebrand Factor. All other platelet parameters tested were within the standardized reference range.

Conclusions: These initial data suggests that anti-platelet therapy may have a role in reduction of platelet activation and aggregation in young smokers and possibly alter vascular endothelial abnormalities.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Diphosphate / pharmacology
  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD / blood
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology*
  • Blood Platelets / drug effects
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Blood Platelets / pathology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Integrin beta3 / blood
  • Male
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology
  • Platelet Aggregation / drug effects
  • Platelet Function Tests
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Thrombin / chemistry
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Tetraspanin 30
  • von Willebrand Factor / metabolism


  • Antigens, CD
  • CD63 protein, human
  • Integrin beta3
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Thrombin
  • Tetraspanin 30
  • von Willebrand Factor
  • Adenosine Diphosphate