Haemostatic agent etamsylate in vitro and in vivo antagonizes anti-coagulant activity of heparin

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Etamsylate is indicated for several anti-hemorrhagic indications in human and veterinary medicine. However, etamsylate has been shown to be effective only in specific hemorrhagic situations. Furthermore, mechanism of action of etamsylate is not known but recent research has shown its ability to inhibit heparin binding to several growth factors. We have evaluated the ability of etamsylate to interfere with the activities of heparin. Effects of etamsylate on vasodilatory activity of heparin were evaluated in rat aortic segments. Influence of etamsylate on anticoagulant activity of heparin was evaluated in vitro by determining prothrombin (PT) time and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) in dog blood and in vivo by determining the interference of systemic and topical etamsylate on heparin-induced extension in bleeding time (BT) in rats. Despite failing to inhibit heparin-induced vasodilation of rat aorta, etamsylate significantly reduced the increase in aPTT caused by heparin (+30.4 ± 6.7% vs. +15.0 ± 2.8% for etamsylate at 100 μM, P < 0.05). Etamsylate also antagonized the anticoagulant effects driven by heparin in vivo since prevented the heparin-induced increase in BT when systemically (i.p.) administered (+94.6 ± 7.5% vs. +57.9 ± 9.2% at 10 mg/kg, P < 0.05, vs. +22.2 ± 16.8% at 30 mg/kg, P < 0.01). Additionally, topically applied etamsylate (125 mg/ml) significantly reduced heparin-induced BT increase (+102.5 ± 3.2% vs. +54.0 ± 5.8%, P < 0.01). These evidences show a pharmacological interference by etamsylate on heparin activities antagonizing pro-hemorrhagic effects of heparin in vitro and in vivo without inhibiting its vasodilatory properties. This ability could help to explain pharmacological effects of etamsylate and proposes its role for reversing pro-hemorrhagic states.

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