Off-Target Effects of P2Y12 Receptor Inhibitors: Focus on Early Myocardial Fibrosis Modulation

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Dec 16;24(24):17546. doi: 10.3390/ijms242417546.


Several studies have demonstrated that, beyond their antithrombotic effects, P2Y12 receptor inhibitors may provide additional off-target effects through different mechanisms. These effects range from the preservation of endothelial barrier function to the modulation of inflammation or stabilization of atherosclerotic plaques, with an impact on different cell types, including endothelial and immune cells. Many P2Y12 inhibitors have been developed, from ticlopidine, the first thienopyridine, to the more potent non-thienopyridine derivatives such as ticagrelor which may promote cardioprotective effects following myocardial infarction (MI) by inhibiting adenosine reuptake through sodium-independent equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (ENT1). Adenosine may affect different molecular pathways involved in cardiac fibrosis, such as the Wnt (wingless-type)/beta (β)-catenin signaling. An early pro-fibrotic response of the epicardium and activation of cardiac fibroblasts with the involvement of Wnt1 (wingless-type family member 1)/β-catenin, are critically required for preserving cardiac function after acute ischemic cardiac injury. This review discusses molecular signaling pathways involved in cardiac fibrosis post MI, focusing on the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, and the off-target effect of P2Y12 receptor inhibition. A potential role of ticagrelor was speculated in the early modulation of cardiac fibrosis, thanks to its off-target effect.

Keywords: early modulation; molecular pathways; myocardial infarction; off-target effect; replacement fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction* / metabolism
  • Pericardium / metabolism
  • Purinergic P2Y Receptor Antagonists* / pharmacology
  • Purinergic P2Y Receptor Antagonists* / therapeutic use
  • Ticagrelor / pharmacology
  • beta Catenin


  • Ticagrelor
  • Purinergic P2Y Receptor Antagonists
  • beta Catenin
  • Adenosine

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.