Platelets from various mammalian species differ in the response to adrenaline mediated by activation of α2-adrenoceptors. In contrast to platelets from rabbit, dog and man, adrenaline did not potentiate the ADP-induced aggregation of rat and guinea pig platelets. Binding assays with 3H-yohimbine, a selective α2-adrenoceptor antagonist, showed that the radioligand was not bound specifically to rat and guinea pig platelets. The specific high affinity binding of 3H-yohimbine to intact human, dog and rabbit platelets was saturable and reversible. The Scatchard analyses of 3H-yohimbine binding showed that the number of binding sites and the affinity for the radioligand decreased in the order man > dog and dog > rabbit. The reduction in α-adrenoceptors on platelets seems to account for the diminished responsiveness to adrenaline.

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