Ticagrelor, an antiplatelet adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-P2Y12 receptor antagonist, increases the risk of bleeding. Its management is challenging because platelet transfusion is ineffective and no specific antidote is currently available. Epinephrine, a vasopressor catecholamine prescribed during shock, restores platelet functions inhibited by ticagrelor through stimulation of α2A-adrenoreceptors. It subsequently inhibits cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) pathway and PI3K signaling. However, since epinephrine may expose a patient to deleterious hemodynamic effects, we hypothesized that other α2-adrenoreceptor agonist drugs used in clinical practice with fewer side effects could reverse the antiplatelet effects of ticagrelor. We compared in vitro the efficacy of clonidine, dexmedetomidine, brimonidine, and norepinephrine with epinephrine to restore ADP- and PAR-1-AP-induced washed platelet aggregation inhibited by ticagrelor, as well as resulting platelet cAMP levels. In ticagrelor-free samples, none of the α2-adrenoreceptor agonists induced aggregation by itself but all of them potentiated ADP-induced aggregation. Compared with epinephrine, norepinephrine, and brimonidine partially restored ADP- and fully restored PAR-1-AP-induced aggregation inhibited by ticagrelor while clonidine and dexmedetomidine were ineffective. Indeed, this lack of effect resulted from a lower decrease in cAMP concentration elicited by these partial α2-adrenoreceptor agonists, clonidine, and dexmedetomidine, compared with full α2-agonists. Our results support the development of specific full and systemic α2-adrenoreceptor agonists for ticagrelor reversal.
Keywords: antiplatelet agent; reversal; ticagrelor; α2-agonist.