Platelet hyperaggregability is involved in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Thrombin-evoked platelet aggregation includes the activation of several intracellular pathways, including endogenous generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), Ca2+ mobilization and protein tyrosine phosphorylation. Here we show that crude aqueous extract from Urtica dioica reduces thrombin-evoked aggregation in platelets from healthy donors and diabetics, in a concentration-dependent manner. U. dioica extract showed a potent antioxidant activity and prevented thrombin-evoked ROS generation in platelets from healthy and diabetic donors. Treatment with U. dioica extract reduced Ca2+ entry induced by thrombin or selective depletion of the two Ca2+ stores in platelets (without altering Ca2+ release), reduced protein tyrosine phosphorylation and reversed the abnormal Ca2+ mobilization and tyrosine phosphorylation in platelets from diabetics. We conclude that extract from U. dioica shows antiaggregant actions and might be used for the treatment and/or prevention of cardiovascular complications associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
platelets; type 2 diabetes mellitus; Urtica dioica; calcium mobilization; antioxidant; tyrosine phosphorylation
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