Research Article

Prostacyclin and thromboxane in diabetes.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 283 doi: (Published 31 October 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;283:1148
  1. O Ylikorkala,
  2. J Kaila,
  3. L Viinikka


    Concentrations of the stable antiaggregatory prostacyclin metabolite 6-keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha (6-keto-PGF1 alpha) and of the proaggregatory thromboxane A2 metabolite thromboxane B2 were measured by radioimmunoassay in plasma from 53 diabetics. In 33 of these patients the ability of platelets to produce thromboxane B2 during spontaneous clotting was also studied. Plasma 6-keto-PGF1 alpha concentrations were higher (p less than 0.05) in the diabetics (mean 107.7 +/- SE 7.6 ng/l) than in non-diabetic controls matched for age and sex (87.5 +/- 4.7 ng/l), and diabetics with microangiography (n = 28) and higher (p less than 0.01) concentrations (124.3 +/- 10.8 ng/l) than those without microangiography (n = 25; 89.2 +/- 9.3 ng/l). Plasma thromboxane B2 concentrations were also higher (p less than 0.01) in the diabetics (mean 218.5 +/- SE 25.3 ng/l) than in the controls (127.7 +/- 9.8 ng/l), but this increase was not related to microangiography. The ability of platelets to generate thromboxane B2 did not differ between the diabetics (181.4 +/- 16.4 microgram/l) and controls (195.8 +/- 11.8 microgram/l). Platelets of diabetics with microangiopathy or taking oral hypoglycaemic agents (n = 19), however, produced decreased amounts of thromboxane B2 during clotting. Plasma concentrations of 6-keto-PGF1 alpha and thromboxane B2 were not related to concentrations of glucose, haemoglobin A1, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, cholesterol, triglycerides, magnesium, or creatinine. These results suggest that in diabetics with microangiopathy a balance between prostacyclin and thromboxane A2 is shifted to dominance by prostacyclin.