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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Thrombin infusion in endotoxin-treated rabbits reduces the plasma levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor: evidence for a protein-C-mediated mechanism.

Plasminogen activator inhibitors (PAIs) play a pivotal role in the control of fibrinolysis. The mechanisms regulating the plasma levels of PAI(s) are still unknown. We report here that the infusion of bovine thrombin (1 U/kg/min, over 60 minutes) in rabbits treated with 0.5 microgram/kg endotoxin (to induce an increase in circulating fast-acting PAI) causes a marked reduction of PAI (50% of preinfusion value), as indicated by functional assay and reverse fibrin autography. Moreover, blood clots prepared from samples obtained after thrombin infusion lysed faster than preinfusion clots when exposed, in vitro, to tissue plasminogen activator. Donor-receiver transfusion experiments showed that the half-life of circulating PAI activity was shorter in thrombin-infused rabbits than in controls (4.1 minutes versus 7.4 minutes), suggesting an accelerated clearance. As expected, thrombin infusion resulted also in activation of protein C ( PC). The following observations suggest a close relationship between PC activation and PAI reduction. (1) Infusion of thrombin in rabbits made deficient in vitamin K-dependent plasma proteins by warfarin treatment did not result in modification of PAI activity. (2) Treatment of the latter animals with a barium citrate eluate (PE) of rabbit plasma restored both the anticoagulant and profibrinolytic response to thrombin. (3) Short infusion of thrombin-activated PE (containing activated PC, PCa), but not of unactivated PE, induced both anticoagulation and reduction of PAI activity. In vitro, incubation of PAI-rich rabbit serum with thrombin-activated PE and phospholipids resulted in a progressive disappearance of PAI activity with a t1/2 of 30 minutes. However, this slow inactivation rate does not fully explain the results obtained in vivo. Our data suggest that thrombin infusion in rabbits causes a reduction of circulating PAI activity and that activation of PC is the intermediary mechanism involved in this phenomenon.[1]


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