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

The generation of fibrinopeptide A in clinical blood samples: evidence for thrombin activity.

Plasma fibrinopeptide A (FPA) concentrations were measured in clinical blood samples incubated in the collecting syringe for different time periods before addition to heparin and Trasylol, and the rate of in vitro generation of FPA was calculated as the mean increment in FPA concentration per minute over the linear portion of the generation curve. 36 normal individuals had a mean plasma FPA level of 0.64 +/- 0.56 pmol/ml and an FPA generation rate of less than 0.5 pmol/ml per min. Clinical samples with elevated plasma FPA levels manifested slow (less than 1 pmol/ml per min) (28 patients) or rapid FPA generation (greater than 1 pmol/ml per min) (33 patients). Slow FPA generation was found in 10/10 patients with venous thrombosis, in 4/4 with aortic aneurysm, and in several patients with acquired hypofibrinogenemia. In one such patient, addition of fibrinogen resulted in rapid FPA generation whereas thrombin addition was without effect. Rapid FPA generation was generally linear, was usually associated with slower fibrinopeptide B generation and was inhibited by parenteral or in vitro heparin. It is thought to reflect increased thrombin activity and was seen in patients with pulmonary embolism, active systemic lupus erythematosus, renal transplant rejection, and after infusion of prothrombin concentrates. The initial rate of FPA cleavage by thrombin at fibrinogen concentrations from 0.05 to 4 mg/ml showed little change between 2 and 4 mg/ml with a Km of 2.99 muM. At a fibrinogen concentration of 2.5 mg/ml the FPA cleavage rate was 49.2 +/- 1.6 nmol/ml per min per U of thrombin. Exogenous thrombin added to normal blood generated 21.7 nmol/ml per U of thrombin FPA in the first minute with a nonlinear pattern reflecting inactivation of thrombin and the presence of alternative substrates. Hence, the thrombin concentration in the blood cannot be calculated from the FPA generation rate. The FPA generation rates in clinical samples with rapid generation (1-28 pmol/ml per min) could be produced by 2 X 10(-5) to 5.6 X 10(-4) thrombin U/ml acting on purified fibrinogen at physiological conditions of pH, ionic strength, and temperature.[1]


  1. The generation of fibrinopeptide A in clinical blood samples: evidence for thrombin activity. Nossel, H.L., Ti, M., Kaplan, K.L., Spanondis, K., Soland, T., Butler, V.P. J. Clin. Invest. (1976) [Pubmed]
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