Platelet activation plays a major role in cardio and cerebrovascular diseases, and cancer progression. Disruption of platelet activation represents an attractive therapeutic target for reducing the bidirectional cross talk between platelets and tumor cells. Platinum (Pt) compounds have been used for treating cancer. Hence, replacing Pt with iridium (Ir) is considered a potential alternative. We recently developed an Ir(III)-derived complex, [Ir(Cp*)1-(2-pyridyl)-3-(2-hydroxyphenyl)imidazo[1,5-a]pyridine Cl]BF4 (Ir-11), which exhibited strong antiplatelet activity; hence, we assessed the therapeutic potential of Ir-11 against arterial thrombosis. In collagen-activated platelets, Ir-11 inhibited platelet aggregation, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) release, intracellular Ca2+ mobilization, P-selectin expression, and OH·formation, as well as the phosphorylation of phospholipase Cγ2 (PLCγ2), protein kinase C (PKC), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), and Akt. Neither the adenylate cyclase inhibitor nor the guanylate cyclase inhibitor reversed the Ir-11-mediated antiplatelet effects. In experimental mice, Ir-11 prolonged the bleeding time and reduced mortality associated with acute pulmonary thromboembolism. Ir-11 plays a crucial role by inhibiting platelet activation through the inhibition of the PLCγ2-PKC cascade, and the subsequent suppression of Akt and MAPK activation, ultimately inhibiting platelet aggregation. Therefore, Ir-11 can be considered a new therapeutic agent against either arterial thrombosis or the bidirectional cross talk between platelets and tumor cells.
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