Blood platelets play a crucial role in the primary hemostasis and vessel wall repair. However; platelet hyperactivation is implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases such as thrombosis, atherosclerosis and stroke. Epidemiological data have suggested that regular consumption of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in flavonoids, is associated to a reduction in cardiovascular events. The cardioprotective effect of flavonoids is partly due to the inhibition of platelet function. However; the mechanisms underlying the anti-platelet effect of these compounds remain unclear. The aim of this review is to discuss the role of platelets in cardiovascular disease and to provide an overview of the potential anti-platelet effect of flavonoids, focusing on the various platelet signaling pathways modulated by flavonoids, including oxidative stress, protein tyrosine phosphorylation, calcium mobilization and nitric oxide pathway. The understanding of these mechanisms will be helpful in the development of new anti-platelet agents based on flavonoids with fewer or no adverse effects.
Keywords: Platelets, flavonoids, cardiovascular diseases, nitric oxide, oxidative stress, tyrosine phosphorylation, calcium mobilization, hemostasis, vessel wall repair, platelet hyperactivation, thrombosis, atherosclerosis, stroke
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