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Thromboxane A2 Thromboxane A2 acsv.svg
Thromboxane A2
Thromboxane B2 Thromboxane B2.svg
Thromboxane B2

Thromboxane is a member of the family of lipids known as eicosanoids. The two major thromboxanes are thromboxane A2 and thromboxane B2. The distinguishing feature of thromboxanes is a 6-membered ether-containing ring.


Thromboxane is named for its role in blood clot formation (thrombosis).


Enzymes and substrates associated with thromoboxane and prostacyclin synthesis. Thromboxane synthesis.png
Enzymes and substrates associated with thromoboxane and prostacyclin synthesis.
Eicosanoid synthesis. Eicosanoid synthesis.svg
Eicosanoid synthesis.

Thromboxane-A synthase, an enzyme found in platelets, converts the arachidonic acid derivative prostaglandin H2 to thromboxane.

People with asthma tend to have increased thromboxane production, and analogs of thromboxane act as bronchoconstrictors in patients with asthma. [1]


Thromboxane acts by binding to any of the thromboxane receptors, G-protein-coupled receptors coupled to the G protein Gq. [2]


Thromboxane is a vasoconstrictor and a potent hypertensive agent, and it facilitates platelet aggregation.

It is in homeostatic balance in the circulatory system with prostacyclin, a related compound. The mechanism of secretion of thromboxanes from platelets is still unclear. They act in the formation of blood clots and reduce blood flow to the site of a clot.

If the cap of a vulnerable plaque erodes or ruptures, as in myocardial infarction, platelets stick to the damaged lining of the vessel and to each other within seconds and form a plug. These "Sticky platelets" secrete several chemicals, including thromboxane A2 that stimulate vasoconstriction, reducing blood flow at the site.

Role of A2 in platelet aggregation

Thromboxane A2 (TXA2), produced by activated platelets, has prothrombotic properties, stimulating activation of new platelets as well as increasing platelet aggregation.

Platelet aggregation is achieved by mediating expression of the glycoprotein complex GP IIb/IIIa in the cell membrane of platelets. Circulating fibrinogen binds these receptors on adjacent platelets, further strengthening the clot.


It is believed that the vasoconstriction caused by thromboxanes plays a role in Prinzmetal's angina. Omega-3 fatty acids are metabolized to produce higher levels of TxA3, which is relatively less potent than TxA2 and PGI3; therefore, there is a balance shift toward inhibition of vasoconstriction and platelet aggregation. It is believed that this shift in balance lowers the incidence of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke. Vasoconstriction and, perhaps, various proinflammatory effects exerted by TxA on tissue microvasculature, is probable reason why the TxA is pathogenic in various diseases, such as ischemia-reperfusion injury., [3] hepatic inflammatory processes, [4] acute hepatotoxicity [5] etc. TxB2, a stable degradation product of TxA2, plays a role in acute hepatoxicity induced by acetaminophen. [6] [7]

Thromboxane inhibitors

Thromboxane inhibitors are broadly classified as either those that inhibit the synthesis of thromboxane, or those that inhibit the target effect of it.

Thromboxane synthesis inhibitors, in turn, can be classified regarding which step in the synthesis they inhibit:

The inhibitors of the target effects of thromboxane are the thromboxane receptor antagonist, including terutroban.

Picotamide has activity both as a thromboxane synthase inhibitor and as a thromboxane receptor antagonist. [12]

Ridogrel is another example. [13]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aspirin</span> Medication

Aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to reduce pain, fever, and/or inflammation, and as an antithrombotic. Specific inflammatory conditions which aspirin is used to treat include Kawasaki disease, pericarditis, and rheumatic fever.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Prostaglandin</span> Group of physiologically active lipid compounds

Prostaglandins (PG) are a group of physiologically active lipid compounds called eicosanoids having diverse hormone-like effects in animals. Prostaglandins have been found in almost every tissue in humans and other animals. They are derived enzymatically from the fatty acid arachidonic acid. Every prostaglandin contains 20 carbon atoms, including a 5-carbon ring. They are a subclass of eicosanoids and of the prostanoid class of fatty acid derivatives.

An antiplatelet drug (antiaggregant), also known as a platelet agglutination inhibitor or platelet aggregation inhibitor, is a member of a class of pharmaceuticals that decrease platelet aggregation and inhibit thrombus formation. They are effective in the arterial circulation where classical Vitamin K antagonist anticoagulants have minimal effect.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cyclooxygenase</span> Class of enzymes

Cyclooxygenase (COX), officially known as prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase (PTGS), is an enzyme that is responsible for biosynthesis of prostanoids, including thromboxane and prostaglandins such as prostacyclin, from arachidonic acid. A member of the animal-type heme peroxidase family, it is also known as prostaglandin G/H synthase. The specific reaction catalyzed is the conversion from arachidonic acid to prostaglandin H2 via a short-living prostaglandin G2 intermediate.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Prostacyclin</span> Chemical compound

Prostacyclin (also called prostaglandin I2 or PGI2) is a prostaglandin member of the eicosanoid family of lipid molecules. It inhibits platelet activation and is also an effective vasodilator.

Vasospasm refers to a condition in which an arterial spasm leads to vasoconstriction. This can lead to tissue ischemia and tissue death (necrosis). Cerebral vasospasm may arise in the context of subarachnoid hemorrhage. Symptomatic vasospasm or delayed cerebral ischemia is a major contributor to post-operative stroke and death especially after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Vasospasm typically appears 4 to 10 days after subarachnoid hemorrhage.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thromboxane-A synthase</span> Mammalian protein found in Homo sapiens

Thromboxane A synthase 1 , also known as TBXAS1, is a cytochrome P450 enzyme that, in humans, is encoded by the TBXAS1 gene.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thromboxane receptor</span> Mammalian protein found in Homo sapiens

The thromboxane receptor (TP) also known as the prostanoid TP receptor is a protein that in humans is encoded by the TBXA2R gene, The thromboxane receptor is one among the five classes of prostanoid receptors and was the first eicosanoid receptor cloned. The TP receptor derives its name from its preferred endogenous ligand thromboxane A2.

A prostaglandin antagonist is a hormone antagonist acting upon one or more prostaglandins, a subclass of eicosanoid compounds which function as signaling molecules in numerous types of animal tissues.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thromboxane A2</span> Chemical compound

Thromboxane A2 (TXA2) is a type of thromboxane that is produced by activated platelets during hemostasis and has prothrombotic properties: it stimulates activation of new platelets as well as increases platelet aggregation. This is achieved by activating the thromboxane receptor, which results in platelet-shape change, inside-out activation of integrins, and degranulation. Circulating fibrinogen binds these receptors on adjacent platelets, further strengthening the clot. Thromboxane A2 is also a known vasoconstrictor and is especially important during tissue injury and inflammation. It is also regarded as responsible for Prinzmetal's angina.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Triflusal</span> Antiplatelet drug

Triflusal is a platelet aggregation inhibitor that was discovered and developed in the Uriach Laboratories, and commercialised in Spain since 1981. Currently, it is available in 25 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and America. It is a derivative of acetylsalicylic acid in which a hydrogen atom on the benzene ring has been replaced by a trifluoromethyl group. Trade names include Disgren, Grendis, Aflen and Triflux.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mechanism of action of aspirin</span>

Aspirin causes several different effects in the body, mainly the reduction of inflammation, analgesia, the prevention of clotting, and the reduction of fever. Much of this is believed to be due to decreased production of prostaglandins and TXA2. Aspirin's ability to suppress the production of prostaglandins and thromboxanes is due to its irreversible inactivation of the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme. Cyclooxygenase is required for prostaglandin and thromboxane synthesis. Aspirin acts as an acetylating agent where an acetyl group is covalently attached to a serine residue in the active site of the COX enzyme. This makes aspirin different from other NSAIDs, which are reversible inhibitors. However, other effects of aspirin, such as uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria, and the modulation of signaling through NF-κB, are also being investigated. Some of its effects are like those of salicylic acid, which is not an acetylating agent.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vorapaxar</span> Chemical compound

Vorapaxar is a thrombin receptor antagonist based on the natural product himbacine, discovered by Schering-Plough and developed by Merck & Co.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Seratrodast</span> Chemical used in the treatment of asthma

Seratrodast (development name, AA-2414; marketed originally as Bronica) is a thromboxane A2 (TXA2) receptor (TP receptor) antagonist used primarily in the treatment of asthma. It was the first TP receptor antagonist that was developed as an anti-asthmatic drug and received marketing approval in Japan in 1997. As of 2017 seratrodast was marketed as Bronica in Japan, and as Changnuo, Mai Xu Jia, Quan Kang Nuo in China.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ifetroban</span> Chemical compound

Ifetroban is a potent and selective thromboxane receptor antagonist. It has been studied in animal models for the treatment of cancer metastasis, myocardial ischemia, hypertension, stroke, thrombosis, cardiomyopathy, and for its effects on platelets. Clinical trials are evaluating the therapeutic safety and efficacy of oral ifetroban capsules for the treatment of cancer metastasis, cardiovascular disease, aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease, systemic sclerosis, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Thromboregulation is the series of mechanisms in how a primary clot is regulated. These mechanisms include, competitive inhibition or negative feedback. It includes primary hemostasis, which is the process of how blood platelets adhere to the endothelium of an injured blood vessel. Platelet aggregation is fundamental to repair vascular damage and the initiation of the blood thrombus formation. The elimination of clots is also part of thromboregulation. Failure in platelet clot regulation may cause hemorrhage or thrombosis. Substances called thromboregulators control every part of these events.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">12-Hydroxyheptadecatrienoic acid</span> Chemical compound

12-Hydroxyheptadecatrienoic acid (also termed 12-HHT, 12(S)-hydroxyheptadeca-5Z,8E,10E-trienoic acid, or 12(S)-HHTrE) is a 17 carbon metabolite of the 20 carbon polyunsaturated fatty acid, arachidonic acid. It was discovered and structurally defined in 1973 by P. Wlodawer, Bengt I. Samuelsson, and M. Hamberg, as a product of arachidonic acid metabolism made by microsomes (i.e. endoplasmic reticulum) isolated from sheep seminal vesicle glands and by intact human platelets. 12-HHT is less ambiguously termed 12-(S)-hydroxy-5Z,8E,10E-heptadecatrienoic acid to indicate the S stereoisomerism of its 12-hydroxyl residue and the Z, E, and E cis-trans isomerism of its three double bonds. The metabolite was for many years thought to be merely a biologically inactive byproduct of prostaglandin synthesis. More recent studies, however, have attached potentially important activity to it.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">20-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid</span> Chemical compound

20-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, also known as 20-HETE or 20-hydroxy-5Z,8Z,11Z,14Z-eicosatetraenoic acid, is an eicosanoid metabolite of arachidonic acid that has a wide range of effects on the vascular system including the regulation of vascular tone, blood flow to specific organs, sodium and fluid transport in the kidney, and vascular pathway remodeling. These vascular and kidney effects of 20-HETE have been shown to be responsible for regulating blood pressure and blood flow to specific organs in rodents; genetic and preclinical studies suggest that 20-HETE may similarly regulate blood pressure and contribute to the development of stroke and heart attacks. Additionally the loss of its production appears to be one cause of the human neurological disease, Hereditary spastic paraplegia. Preclinical studies also suggest that the overproduction of 20-HETE may contribute to the progression of certain human cancers, particularly those of the breast.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Furegrelate</span> Chemical compound

Furegrelate, also known as 5-(3-pyridinylmethyl)benzofurancarboxylic acid, is a chemical compound with thromboxane enzyme inhibiting properties that was originally developed by Pharmacia Corporation as a drug to treat arrhythmias, ischaemic heart disorders, and thrombosis but was discontinued. It is commercially available in the form furegrelate sodium salt.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lysine acetylsalicylate</span>

Lysine acetylsalicylate, also known as aspirin DL-lysine or lysine aspirin, is a more soluble form of acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin). As with aspirin itself, it is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and antipyretic properties. It is composed of the ammonium form of the amino acid lysine paired with the conjugate base of aspirin.


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