Forskolin, a diterpene obtained from coleus forskolii, is a potent cAMP stimulator. We have evaluated the effects of forskolin on blood flow, platelet aggregation and metabolism. It was found that forskolin has a dose dependent vaso-relaxing effect in an in vivo sheep model, when infused intra-arterially. Furthermore forskolin, in a dose-dependent fashion reduced whole blood platelet aggregation and ATP release. Pretreatment of PTFE grafts with Forskolin significantly reduced platelet consumption 3 hours postoperatively and on the first postoperative day. The overall platelet metabolism, measured by a microcalorimetric technique after treatment with forskolin in vitro and ex-vivo postoperatively was significantly increased.
In conclusion: Forskolin affects blood flow and platelet parameters favourably in the setting of occlusive arterial disease and reconstructive arterial surgery.