Platelet activation via PAR4 is involved in the initiation of thrombin generation and in clot elasticity development

Thromb Haemost. 2007 Mar;97(3):417-24.


Thrombin is a pivotal enzyme formed in the coagulation cascade and an important and potent platelet activator. The two protease-activated thrombin receptors on human platelets are denoted PAR1 and PAR4. The physiological relevance of PAR4 is still unclear, as both aggregation and secretion can be accomplished by PAR1 activation alone. In the present study we have investigated the role of PARs in platelet activation, blood coagulation, clot elasticity and fibrinolysis. Flow cytometry, free oscillation rheometry and thrombin generation measurements were used to analyze blood or platelet-rich plasma from healthy individuals. Maximum PAR1 activation with the peptide SFLLRN gave fewer fibrinogen-binding platelets with lower mean fluorescent intensity than maximum PAR4 activation with AYPGKF. Inhibition of any of the receptors prolonged clotting times. However, PAR1 is more important for fibrinolysis; inhibition of this receptor prolonged all the steps in the fibrinolytic process. Clot elasticity decreased significantly when the PAR4 receptor was inhibited. In the thrombin generation measurements, PAR4 inhibition delayed the thrombin generation start and peak, but did not affect the total amount of thrombin generated. PAR1 inhibition had no significant impact on thrombin generation. We found that PAR4 is most likely activated by low concentrations of thrombin during the initial phase of thrombin generation and is of importance to the clotting time. Furthermore, we suggest that the PAR4 receptor may have a physiological role in the stabilisation of the coagulum.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / pharmacology
  • Blood Coagulation* / drug effects
  • Blood Platelets / drug effects
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Elasticity
  • Fibrinogen / metabolism
  • Fibrinolysis
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacology
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology
  • Platelet Activation* / drug effects
  • Receptor, PAR-1 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Thrombin / drug effects
  • Receptors, Thrombin / immunology
  • Receptors, Thrombin / metabolism*
  • Reference Values
  • Thrombelastography
  • Thrombin / metabolism*
  • Whole Blood Coagulation Time


  • Antibodies
  • Oligopeptides
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Receptor, PAR-1
  • Receptors, Thrombin
  • alanyl-tyrosyl-prolyl-glycyl-lysyl-phenylalanine
  • thrombin receptor peptide (42-47)
  • Fibrinogen
  • Thrombin
  • protease-activated receptor 4