Cresol is a well-known environmental pollutant, toluene metabolite, uremic toxicant and accidental poisoning product. Formocresol, a preparation of formalin and cresol, is also used as a root canal medicament and for pulpotomy of primary teeth. However, little is known about its effect on cardiovascular system. In this study, m-cresol inhibited the AA-induced platelet aggregation by 43-97% at concentrations ranging from 0.25 to 1 mM. Collagen-induced platelet aggregation was also inhibited by 0.25-1 mM of m-cresol by 47-98%. Accordingly, o-cresol (0.1-0.5 mM) also inhibited the AA-induced platelet aggregation by 46-96% and the collagen-induced platelet aggregation by 35-88% at concentrations of 0.1-1 mM. AA- and collagen-induced platelet thromboxane B 2 (TXB 2) production was inhibited by even 0.1 mM of m-cresol with 88 and 54% of inhibition, respectively. The o-cresol (0.1 mM) also inhibited the AA- and collagen-induced platelet TXB 2 production with 91 and 97% respectively. Although m- and o-cresol (<1 mM) showed little effect on thrombin-induced platelet aggregation, they effectively inhibited the thrombin-induced platelet TXB 2 production. The m-cresol (2 and 5 mM) inhibited the COX-1 activity by 55-99%, but showed little effect on COX-2 enzyme activity. Moreover, o-cresol (0.5 and 1 mM) inhibited the COX-1 activity by 40-95%. COX-2 enzyme activity was inhibited by 68% at a concentration of 5 mM o-cresol. These results indicate that acute cresol-poisoning, direct root canal medication with formocresol or long-term occupational exposure to cresol and toluene may potentially suppress blood clot formation and lead to tissue hemorrhage via inhibition of platelet aggregation, TXB 2 production and COX enzyme activity.
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