Thromboembolic and cardiovascular risk in rheumatoid arthritis: role of the haemostatic system.
Abnormal expression of thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and its receptor (TSLPR) was found in patients with acute coronary syndrome. Ticagrelor, an oral platelet ADP P2Y12 receptor antagonist, is widely used in these patients. The aim of this study was to verify whether different doses of ticagrelor regulated plaque progression and platelet activity by modulating TSLP/TSLPR. Seventy-five ApoE-/- mice were randomly divided into five groups: (1) high-cholesterol diet (HCD, n = 15); (2) HCD plus ticagrelor 25 mg/kg/d (T1, n = 15); (3) HCD plus ticagrelor 50 mg/kg/d (T2, n = 15); (4) HCD plus ticagrelor 100 mg/kg/d (T3, n = 15); and (5) a normal diet group (ND, n = 15). At day 0 and at week 16, blood lipids and serum TSLP levels, expression of TSLPR, CD62, and CD63, platelet aggregation, platelet ATP release, PI3K/Akt signaling pathway, and plaque morphology were assessed. HCD increased TSLPR expression and atherosclerosis progression but high-dose ticagrelor (100 mg/kg) moderated this trend. TSLPR was positively correlated with Akt1, platelet aggregation, corrected plaque area, and vulnerability index in the T3 group (P<0.01). In conclusion, low-dose ticagrelor only inhibited platelet activity. Besides this inhibition, high-dose ticagrelor modulated platelet activity and atherosclerosis mediated by TSLPR, potentially through the PI3K/Akt signal pathway.