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Research Article

Salicylate-aspirin interaction in the rat. Evidence that salicylate accumulating during aspirin administration may protect vascular prostacyclin from aspirin-induced inhibition.

E Dejana, C Cerletti, C de Castellarnau, M Livio, F Galletti, R Latini and G de Gaetano

Published October 1981

Aspirin inhibits cyclooxygenase, thus preventing thromboxane A2 production in blood platelets and prostacyclin in vascular cells. Aspirin is rapidly hydrolyzed to salicylate in the circulation. The objectives of this study were (a) to evaluate whether administration of salicylate, though ineffective by itself, prevents the inhibitory effect of aspirin on platelet and/or vascular cyclooxygenase activity; (b) to verify whether salicylate accumulating in blood after aspirin administration interferes with the pharmacological activity of further doses of aspirin. Pretreatment of rats with sodium salicylate (25-100 mg/kg i.p.) resulted in dose-related prevention of the effect of a subsequent dose of aspirin (2.5-10 mg/kg i.v.) on both platelet and vascular cells. Sodium salicylate appeared to amplify the greater response of platelets to aspirin compared with vessel wall. Pretreatment of rats with repeated high doses of aspirin (200 mg/kg) resulted after 24 h in blood salicylate levels (150-200 microgram/ml) that significantly prevented the inhibitory effect of a subsequent dose of aspirin on newly synthesized vascular prostacyclin. Blood salicylate levels obtained after 36 or 48 h (less than 50 microgram/ml) were too low to blunt aspirin's effect. The interference with aspirin of its major endogenous metabolite should be borne in mind when interpreting results obtained with high dose aspirin or during repeated administration of this drug.

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