A Comprehensive Review of the Pleiotropic Effects of Ticagrelor

Jeffrey Triska, Neil Maitra, Matthew R. Deshotels, Faris Haddadin, Dominick J. Angiolillo, Gemma Vilahur, Hani Jneid, Dan Atar, Yochai Birnbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Aims: This review summarizes the findings of preclinical studies evaluating the pleiotropic effects of ticagrelor. These include attenuation of ischemia–reperfusion injury (IRI), inflammation, adverse cardiac remodeling, and atherosclerosis. In doing so, it aims to provide novel insights into ticagrelor’s mechanisms and benefits over other P2Y12 inhibitors. It also generates viable hypotheses for the results of seminal clinical trials assessing ticagrelor use in acute and chronic coronary syndromes. Methods and Results: A comprehensive review of the preclinical literature demonstrates that ticagrelor protects against IRI in the setting of both an acute myocardial infarction (MI), and when MI occurs while on chronic treatment. Maintenance therapy with ticagrelor also likely mitigates adverse inflammation, cardiac remodeling, and atherosclerosis, while improving stem cell recruitment. These effects are probably mediated by ticagrelor’s ability to increase local interstitial adenosine levels which activate downstream cardio-protective molecules. Attenuation and augmentation of these pleiotropic effects by high-dose aspirin and caffeine, and statins respectively may help explain variable outcomes in PLATO and subsequent randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Conclusion: Most RCTs and meta-analyses have not evaluated the pleiotropic effects of ticagrelor. We need further studies comparing cardiovascular outcomes in patients treated with ticagrelor versus other P2Y12 inhibitors that are mindful of the unique pleiotropic advantages afforded by ticagrelor, as well as possible interactions with other therapies (e.g., aspirin, statins, caffeine).

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCardiovascular Drugs and Therapy
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspirin
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Ischemia–reperfusion injury, Myocardial infarction
  • P2Y inhibitor
  • Pleiotropic effects
  • Systematic review
  • Ticagrelor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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