Insulin induces the release of vasodilator compounds from platelets by a nitric oxide-G kinase-VAMP-3-dependent pathway.
Insulin-induced vasodilatation is sensitive to nitric oxide (NO) synthase (NOS) inhibitors. However, insulin is unable to relax isolated arteries or to activate endothelial NOS in endothelial cells. Since insulin can enhance platelet endothelial NOS activity, we determined whether insulin-induced vasodilatation can be attributed to a NO-dependent, platelet-mediated process. Insulin failed to relax endothelium-intact rings of porcine coronary artery. The supernatant from insulin-stimulated human platelets induced complete relaxation, which was prevented by preincubation of platelets with a NOS inhibitor, the soluble guanylyl cyclase inhibitor, NS 2028, or the G kinase inhibitor, KT 5823, and was abolished by an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist. Insulin induced the release of adenosine trisphosphate (ATP), adenosine, and serotonin from platelet-dense granules in a NO-dependent manner. This response was not detected using insulin-stimulated platelets from endothelial NOS-/-mice, although a NO donor elicited ATP release. Insulin-induced ATP release from human platelets correlated with the association of syntaxin 2 with the vesicle-associated membrane protein 3 but was not associated with the activation of alphaIIbbeta3 integrin. Thus, insulin elicits the release of vasoactive concentrations of ATP and adenosine from human platelets via a NO-G kinase-dependent signaling cascade. The mechanism of dense granule secretion involves the G kinase-dependent association of syntaxin 2 with vesicle-associated membrane protein 3.