Platelet olfactory receptor activation limits platelet reactivity and growth of aortic aneurysms

J Clin Invest. 2022 May 2;132(9):e152373. doi: 10.1172/JCI152373.


As blood transitions from steady laminar flow (S-flow) in healthy arteries to disturbed flow (D-flow) in aneurysmal arteries, platelets are subjected to external forces. Biomechanical platelet activation is incompletely understood and is a potential mechanism behind antiplatelet medication resistance. Although it has been demonstrated that antiplatelet drugs suppress the growth of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) in patients, we found that a certain degree of platelet reactivity persisted in spite of aspirin therapy, urging us to consider additional antiplatelet therapeutic targets. Transcriptomic profiling of platelets from patients with AAA revealed upregulation of a signal transduction pathway common to olfactory receptors, and this was explored as a mediator of AAA progression. Healthy platelets subjected to D-flow ex vivo, platelets from patients with AAA, and platelets in murine models of AAA demonstrated increased membrane olfactory receptor 2L13 (OR2L13) expression. A drug screen identified a molecule activating platelet OR2L13, which limited both biochemical and biomechanical platelet activation as well as AAA growth. This observation was further supported by selective deletion of the OR2L13 ortholog in a murine model of AAA that accelerated aortic aneurysm growth and rupture. These studies revealed that olfactory receptors regulate platelet activation in AAA and aneurysmal progression through platelet-derived mediators of aortic remodeling.

Keywords: Platelets; Signal transduction; Thrombosis; Vascular Biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aortic Aneurysm* / genetics
  • Aortic Aneurysm* / metabolism
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal* / genetics
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Platelet Activation
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, Odorant* / genetics


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Receptors, Odorant