While it is known that platelets from diabetic patients bind more fibrinogen than do platelets from normal subjects, there has been no study comparing this phenomenon in platelets from nonretinopathic and retinopathic patients. We have made such a comparison and have found the following. In agreement with previous reports, platelets from nonretinopathic diabetic patients bind abnormally high amounts of fibrinogen. No differences in the amount of fibrinogen bound to platelets (stimulated by collagen or thrombin) were found when data from nonretinopathic and retinopathic patients were compared. However, while aspirin (an inhibitor of thromboxane synthesis) reduced the abnormally high fibrinogen binding of platelets from nonretinopathic patients to normal control levels, it did not normalize the high fibrinogen binding of platelets from retinopathic diabetic patients. The combination of aspirin plus apy-rase (an ADP scavenger) almost suppressed fibrinogen binding and aggregation of platelets from normal or nonretinopathic diabetic subjects, whereas it had a somewhat lesser effect on binding and aggregation of platelets from retinopathic subjects. By using a monoclonal antibody (B59.2) to the platelet receptor for fibrinogen, we determined that this receptor was the same in platelets from normal as well as nonretinopathic diabetic subjects and that this antibody could suppress the binding of fibrinogen and the aggregation of platelets from both types of patients just as it did in platelets from normal subjects. Thus, our data indicate that, while platelets from both retinopathic and nonretinopathic patients are hyperaggregable and show abnormally high binding of fibrinogen, they differ in that these abnormalities can be normalized in platelets from nonretinopathic patients by suppressing prostaglandin/ thromboxane formation and scavenging AOP, but not in those from retinopathic patients.

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