Effects of novel plant antioxidants on platelet superoxide production and aggregation in atherosclerosis

J Physiol Pharmacol. 2006 Dec;57(4):611-26.


Superoxide anion is produced in human platelets predominantly by Nox2-dependent NADPH oxidases. In vitro experiments have shown that it might play a role in modulating platelet functions. The relationship between platelet superoxide production and aggregation remains poorly defined. Accordingly, we aimed to study superoxide production and aggregation in platelets from subjects with significant cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking and diabetes mellitus) and from control individuals. Moreover, we studied the effects of novel polyphenol-rich extracts of Aronia melanocarpa (chokeberry) berries on platelet function in vitro. Superoxide production was significantly increased in patients with cardiovascular risk profile when compared to controls, while platelet aggregation in response to either collagen or thrombin were borderline higher, and did not reach statistical significance. Interestingly, no relationship was observed between platelet aggregation ex vivo and platelet superoxide production in either of studied groups. No correlation was found between endothelial function (measured by FMD) and platelet aggregation ex vivo either. Polyphenol-rich extracts of A. melanocarpa berries caused a significant concentration dependent decrease in superoxide production only in patients with cardiovascular risk factors, while no effect was observed in the control group. A. melanocarpa extracts abolished the difference in superoxide production between risk factor patients and controls. A. melanocarpa extracts exerted significant concentration dependent anti-aggregatory effects in both studied groups, which indicated that these effects may be independent of it's ability to modulate superoxide production. The anti-aggregatory effects of chokeberry extracts were similar irrespective of aggregation inducing agent (collagen or thrombin). Moreover, they appear to be independent of platelet NO release as NOS inhibition by L-NAME did not lead to their abrogation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Atherosclerosis / blood*
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism
  • Blood Platelets / drug effects*
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Photinia / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Platelet Aggregation / drug effects*
  • Superoxides / metabolism*


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Superoxides