Introduction: Clopidogrel inhibits the ADP subtype P2Y(12) receptor. Recently, polymorphisms of this receptor have been associated with different degrees of platelet aggregation in healthy volunteers and have been suggested to modulate clopidogrel response. However, the role of gene sequence variations of the P2Y(12) receptor in patients treated with clopidogrel has not yet been assessed.
Materials and methods: The T744C polymorphism of the P2Y(12) receptor gene was assessed in 119 patients: 36 undergoing coronary stenting receiving a 300 mg loading dose (Group A) and 83 on long-term clopidogrel (75 mg/day) treatment (Group B). Patients were divided into 2 subgroups according to the presence or absence of the C allele: carriers (CT heterozygotes and CC homozygotes) and non-carriers (TT homozygotes). Platelet aggregation, assessed by light transmittance aggregometry following ADP, collagen, TRAP and epinephrine stimuli, and platelet activation (GP IIb/IIIa activation and P-selectin expression), assessed by whole blood flow cytometry in ADP and TRAP-stimulated platelets, were performed. Platelet function was assessed at baseline and 4 and 24 h following clopidogrel loading dose in Group A and when patients where on clopidogrel treatment for at least 1 month in Group B.
Results: The genotype distribution of Group A was: 22/36 (61.1%) non-carriers and 14/36 (38.9%) carriers of the C allele; Group B: 57/83 (68.7%) non-carriers and 26/83 (31.3%) carriers of the C allele. There were no differences between groups for all the assessed platelet function assays.
Conclusions: The T744C polymorphism of the P2Y(12) receptor gene does not modulate platelet response to clopidogrel either in the early or long-term phases of treatment. This specific gene polymorphism alone is therefore unlikely to be the cause of variability in individual response to antiplatelet therapy.