The anti-aggregation effects of ondansetron on platelets involve IP3 signaling and MAP kinase pathway, but not 5-HT3-dependent pathway

Fu Chao Liu, Jiin Tarng Liou, Hsiang Ruei Liao, Chih Chieh Mao, Polung Yang, Yuan Ji Day*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

13 Scopus citations


Ondansetron is a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist with potent antiemetic, analgesic, and antiphlogistic effects. Literature concerning 5-HT3 antagonists on platelets is limited. In this report we examined the pharmacological effects of ondansetron on human washed platelets. Platelet aggregation induced by thrombin (0.1 U/mL), collagen (2 μg/mL), arachidonic acid (0.5 mM), ADP (10 μM), or U46619 (2 μM) was observed. The effects of ondansetron on platelet aggregation and ATP release were investigated at different concentrations. Cytosolic Ca2+ influx concentration, TXB2, IP3, and the levels of cAMP and cGMP were monitored, and flow cytometric analysis and immunoblotting were performed to investigate downstream signaling components. Our results showed that ondansetron, in a concentration-dependent manner, inhibited agonist-induced platelet aggregation. At 75 μM, ondansetron significantly attenuated intracellular Ca2+ mobilization, thromboxane B2 formation, and ATP release by human washed platelets activated by thrombin, collagen, or U46619, whereas it only partially attenuated arachidonic acid-driven platelet activation. Administration of ondansetron resulted in attenuated IP3 production in the washed platelets stimulated by thrombin, as determined by reduced IP1 levels, as well as diminished p38 and ERK2 phosphorylation in response to thrombin. No effect of ondansetron on the levels of either cAMP or cGMP in washed platelets was observed. Furthermore, ondansetron-mediated inhibition of platelet aggregation was not impacted by SR 57227A, the 5-HT3 agonist. Thus, rather than involving the 5-HT3-dependent pathway, the negative effect of ondansetron on platelet aggregation is instead manifested through the attenuation of agonist-induced IP3 production and MAPK (p38 and ERK2) phosphorylation that results in suppressed intracellular Ca2+ mobilization, TXB2 formation, and ATP release.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e84-e94
JournalThrombosis Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 09 2012


  • ERK
  • IP3
  • Ondansetron
  • P38 MAPK
  • Platelet aggregation


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