The aggregating effects of adenosine diphosphate, thrombin, 5-hydroxytryptamine, tryptamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline, and tri-ethyl tin have been carefully compared. The first three compounds in some circumstances produce remarkably similar effects although there are important differences. The kinetics of aggregation induced by adrenaline (and noradrenaline) are quite different and the tri-ethyl tin effects are different again. Anti-serotonins specifically inhibit 5-hydroxytryptamine and the anti-adrenaline drug phentolamine specifically inhibits the effects of the catecholamines.
Experiments presented suggest but do not prove that aggregation produced by all these compounds is accompanied by the liberation of diphosphate from the platelets and that platelet triphosphate may be converted to diphosphate. How these different compounds all produce this effect is discussed. Either the presence of diphosphate or the action of a triphosphatase might be the immediate cause of aggregation if there is a single final common cause. The anti-adrenaline phentolamine prolongs the bleeding time, so adrenaline or noradrenaline may be involved in platelet phenomena in haemostasis.
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↵1 Some of the material presented here has been summarized in Nature (200, 763, 1963) and in two lectures which are in the press: `The International Committee for the Nomenclature of Blood Clotting Factors' (Thromb. et Diath. Haem.) and `The Proceedings of the IX Congress of the European Society of Haematology', S. Karger.