Cardiac ischemia is a serious complication of type 2 diabetes. However, the pathophysiology underlying the increased severity of myocardial ischemia in diabetes is not clear. This study tested the hypothesis that platelet adhesion protein expression is chronically increased in older type 2 diabetic patients with established ischemic heart disease (IHD) compared to age-matched, nondiabetic patients with IHD. We compared the chronic expression of two platelet adhesion proteins, P-selectin and GPIIb/IIIa, in whole blood and the platelet reactivity to an acute stimulus. We found that the expression of platelet P-selectin was chronically increased in the nondiabetic patients with IHD compared to normal subjects. P-selectin expression was further increased in the diabetic patients with IHD compared to the nondiabetic IHD patients (P<.05). The results were stratified to examine the potential effect of aspirin usage on adhesion protein expression. We found that the expression of the activated GPIIb/IIIa complex was significantly reduced in those diabetic cardiac patients who were taking aspirin (P<.05). These findings indicate that, in patients with IHD, platelet adhesion proteins are chronically expressed and that the level of expression is increased more in IHD patients with type 2 diabetes. This complication of diabetes may exacerbate thrombus formation during a recurrent event, increasing the severity of ischemic injury. The results give further support to the use of aspirin in type 2 diabetics with established cardiac disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism