Advancement in the understanding of the mechanisms of platelet activation,
as well as the development of new techniques for studying platelet function
, have led to the availability of new classes of platelet inhibiting drugs.
Initially, characterization of arachidonic acid metabolism in platelets fu
rthered an understanding of the utility of cyclooxygenase inhibitors, most
notably aspirin. The discovery and characterization of platelet receptors s
uch as the adenosine diphosphate (ADP) receptor and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa h
as been associated with the development of novel classes of anti-platelet d
rug, such as thienopyridine derivatives and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor
antagonists, respectively. Future development in receptor pathway inhibitor
s also includes glycoprotein Ib/IX as well as the potential use of platelet
signaling pathway inhibitors. (C) 2001 Academic Press.