Ticagrelor (TIC), a P2Y purinoceptor 12 (P2Y12)-receptor antagonist, has been widely used to treat patients with acute coronary syndrome. Although animal studies suggest that TIC protects against atherosclerosis, it remains unknown whether it does so through its potent platelet inhibition or through other pathways. Here, we placed hypercholesterolemic Ldlr-/-A-pobec1-/- mice on a high-fat diet and treated them with either 25 mg/kg/day of clopidogrel (CLO) or 180 mg/kg/day of TIC for 16 weeks and evaluated the extent of atherosclerosis. Both treatments equally inhibited platelets as determined by ex vivo platelet aggregation assays. The extent of atherosclerosis, however, was significantly less in the TIC group than in the CLO group. Immunohistochemical staining and ELISA showed that TIC treatment was associated with less macrophage infiltration to the atherosclerotic intima and lower serum levels of CCL4, CXCL10, and TNFα, respectively, than CLO treatment. Treatment with TIC, but not CLO, was associated with higher serum activity and tissue level of paraoxonase-1 (PON1), an anti-atherosclerotic molecule, suggesting that TIC might exert greater anti-atherosclerotic activity, compared with CLO, through its unique ability to induce PON1. Although further studies are needed, TIC may prove to be a viable strategy in the prevention and treatment of chronic stable human atherosclerosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas