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Platelet inhibitory effects of the Phase 3 anticancer and normal tissue cytoprotective agent, RRx‐001


The platelet inhibitory effects of the Phase 3 anticancer agent and nitric oxide (NO) donor, RRx-001, (1-bromoacetyl-3,3-dinitroazetidine) were examined ex vivo and compared with the diazeniumdiolate NO donor, diethylenetriamine NONOate (DETA-NONOate), which spontaneously releases nitric oxide in aqueous solution. In the absence of red blood cells and in a dose-dependent manner, DETA-NONOate strongly inhibited platelet aggregation induced by several stimuli (ADP, epinephrine and collagen) whereas RRx-001 only slightly inhibited platelet aggregation under the same conditions in a dose-dependent manner; these antiaggregant effects were blocked when both DETA-NONOate and RRx-001 were co-incubated with carboxy-PTIO (CPTIO 0.01-100 micromol), a widely accepted NO scavenger. However, in the presence of red blood cells from healthy human donors, RRx-001, which binds covalently to haemoglobin (Hb) and catalyses the production of NO from endogenous nitrite, more strongly inhibited the aggregation of platelets than DETA-NONOate in a dose-dependent manner likely because haemoglobin avidly scavenges nitric oxide and reduces its half-life; the RRx-001-mediated platelet inhibitory effect was increased in the presence of nitrite. The results of this study suggest that RRx-001-bound Hb (within RBCs) plays an important role in the bioconversion of NO2- to NO. , which makes RRx-001 a more physiologically relevant inhibitor of platelet aggregation than other nitric oxide donors, whose effects are attenuated in the presence of red blood cells. Therefore, RRx-001-mediated platelet inhibition is a potentially useful therapeutic property, especially in hypercoagulable cancer patients that are at an increased risk of thrombotic complications.

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