Platelets and atherogenesis: Platelet anti-aggregation activity and endothelial protection from tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.)

Exp Ther Med. 2012 Apr;3(4):577-584. doi: 10.3892/etm.2012.477. Epub 2012 Feb 9.


In recent years, it has been shown that platelets are not only involved in the arterial thrombotic process, but also that they play an active role in the inflammatory process of atherogenesis from the beginning. The interaction between platelets and endothelial cells occurs in two manners: activated platelets unite with intact endothelial cells, or platelets in resting adhere to activated endothelium. In this context, inhibition of the platelet function (adhesion/aggregation) could contribute to the prevention of atherothrombosis, the leading cause of cardiovascular morbidity. This can be achieved with antiplatelet agents. However, at the public health level, the level of primary prevention, a healthy diet has also been shown to exert beneficial effects. Among those elements of a healthy diet, the consumption of tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) stands out for its effect on platelet anti-aggregation activity and endothelial protection, which may be beneficial for cardiovascular health. This article briefly discusses the involvement of platelets in atherogenesis and the possible mechanisms of action provided by tomatoes for platelet anti-aggregation activity and endothelial protection.