Effects of propranolol and pindolol on platelet aggregation and serotonin release

Ilana Nathan, Alexander Dvilansky, Jacob Sage, Amos D. Korczyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The aggregation of human platelets by adrenaline and adenosine di-phosphate (ADP) and its inhibition by β-blockers was studied by measuring the light transmission of plateletrich plasma (PRP) and suspensions of washed platelets exposed to these agents. Inhibition of aggregation of PRP and washed platelets was dose related in the two β-blockers tested: propranolol and pindolol. The potent β-blockers pindolol was less inhibitory than propranolol when adrenaline and ADP were used to induce platelet aggregation. The aggregation of platelets by adrenaline has two phases. With low doses of the blockers only the second phase was inhibited whereas higher doses blocked both phases. Preincubation of human platelets (PRP and washed platelets) with both blockers per se resulted in release of 14C-labelled serotonin. Propranolol released more serotonin than pindolol. There was no concomitant release of lactic dehydrogenase. It is concluded that the effects of propranolol and pindolol on platelets do not correlate with the β-blocking activity of these agents. Rather, the more lypophilic agent, propranolol, is more active both in inhibition of aggregation and in releasing platelet serotonin. It is suggested that these actions of the drugs are related to their non-specific membrane effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-411
Number of pages5
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics


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