Cardiorespiratory Fitness Is Associated with Decreased Platelet Reactivity.

Grech J;  National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Framingham, MA.
Thibord F;Chan M; Lachapelle A; Spartano N; Chen MH; Nayor M;Johnson AD;

Medicine and science in sports and exercise [Med Sci Sports Exerc] 2024 Jun 24.
Date of Electronic Publication: 2024 Jun 24.

Purpose: Platelets are key mediators in cardiovascular disease (CVD). Low cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is a risk factor for CVD. The purpose of our study was to assess if CRF associates with platelet function.
Methods: Platelet assays and cardiopulmonary exercise testing were conducted in the Framingham Heart Study (n = 3,014). Linear mixed effects models estimated associations between CRF (assessed by peak oxygen uptake [VO2]), and multiple platelet reactivity assays. Models were adjusted for multiple medications, risk factors, relatedness and prevalent CVD.
Results: Nineteen associations passed the significance threshold in the fully adjusted models, all indicating higher CRF associated with decreased platelet reactivity. Significant traits spanned multiple platelet agonists. Strongest associations were observed in Multiplate whole blood testing after TRAP-6 (e.g., velocity, beta = -0.563, 95% CI [-0.735,-0.391], p = 1.38E-10), ADP (e.g., velocity, beta = -0.514, 95% CI [-0.681,-0348], p = 1.41E-09), collagen (e.g., velocity, beta = -0.387, 95% CI [-0.549,-0.224], p = 3.01E-06), ristocetin (e.g., AUC, beta = -0.365, 95% CI [-0.522,-0.208], p = 5.17E-06) and arachidonic acid stimulation of platelets (e.g., velocity, beta = -0.298, 95% CI [-0.435,-0.162], p = 3.39E-04), and light transmission aggregometry (LTA) after ristocetin stimulation (e.g., max aggregation, beta = -0.362, 95% CI [-0.540,-0.184], p = 6.64E-05). One trait passed significance threshold in the aspirin sub-sample (LTA ristocetin primary slope, beta = -0.733, 95% CI [-1.134,-0.333], p = 3.30E-04), and another in a model including von Willebrand Factor levels as a covariate (U46619, a thromboxane receptor mimetic, AUC in the Optimul assay, beta = -0.36, 95%CI [-0.551,-0.168], p = 2.35E-04). No strong interactions were observed between the associations and sex, age or body mass index in formal interaction analyses.
Conclusions: Our findings build on past work that shows CRF to be associated with reduced CVD by suggesting decreased platelet reactivity may play a mechanistic role. We found significant associations with multiple platelet agonists, indicating higher CRF may globally inhibit platelets; however, given multiple strong associations after TRAP-6 and ADP stimulation, PAR-1 and purinergic signaling may be most heavily involved. This is notable since each of these receptor pathways are tied to anti-coagulant (DOACs/thrombin inhibitors) and anti-platelet therapies (P2Y12/PAR1/PAR4 inhibitors) for CVD prevention.
Competing Interests: Conflict of Interest and Funding Source: This research was primarily supported by a special Population Sciences funding award to A.D.J. from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHBLI) Intramural Research program. The Framingham Heart Study (FHS) acknowledges the support of Contracts NO1-HC-25195, HHSN268201500001I, and 75N92019D00031 from the NHLBI and NHLBI grants HL107385, HL126136, HL93328, HL142983, HL143227, HL131532, and R01HL131029 for this research. The authors declared no competing interests for this work.