Panax quinquefolium saponin combined with dual antiplatelet drugs inhibits platelet adhesion to injured HUVECs via PI3K/AKT and COX pathways Academic Article uri icon

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  • Ethnopharmacological relevance

    Panax quinquefolium saponin (PQS) is the active component extracted from traditional Chinese medicine Panax quinquefolius L. and has been widely used as a supplement to dual antiplatelet drugs (DA) for treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD) for two decades; however, the efficacy of PQS combined with DA against platelet adhesion to endothelial cells (ECs), an essential step in thrombosis, remains unclear.

    Aim of the study

    To compare PQS combined with DA and DA alone in inhibiting platelet adhesion to injured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and to explore the possible mechanisms focusing on PI3K/AKT, COX-2/6-keto-PGF, and COX-1/TXB2 pathways.


    HUVECs injured by oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) were randomly allocated into control, model, DA, PQS+DA (P+DA), LY294002 (a PI3K inhibitor)+DA (L+DA), and LY294002+PQS+DA (LP+DA) groups. HUVEC apoptosis, platelet adhesion to injured HUVECs, and platelet CD62p expression were assayed by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS). The concentrations of 6-keto-PGF and TXB2 in the supernatant were measured by radioimmunoassay. Protein expression of phosphorylated-PI3K, PI3K, phosphorylated-AKT, AKT, COX-1, and COX-2 in both platelets and HUVECs was evaluated by western blot.


    Compared to DA alone, PQS combined with DA reduced platelet adhesion to HUVECs and HUVEC apoptosis more potently, increased the concentration of supernatant 6-keto-PGF and up-regulated phospho-AKT protein in HUVECs. LY294002 mitigated the effects of PQS on HUVEC apoptosis and platelet adhesion.


    These findings show that PQS as a powerful supplement to DA, attenuated HUVEC apoptosis and improved the DA-mediated reduction of platelet adhesion to injured HUVECs and the underlying mechanisms may be associated with PI3K/AKT and COX pathways in HUVECs and platelets. PQS might provide a new complementary approach to improve the prognosis of thrombotic diseases in future.


  • Wang, Ming-ming
  • Xue, Mei
  • Miao, Yu
  • Kou, Na
  • Xu, Yong-gang
  • Yang, Lin
  • Zhang, Ying
  • Shi, Da-zhuo

publication date

  • November 2016

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