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Pediatr Res. 1999 Dec;46(6):742-7.

Comparison of tissue factor pathway in human umbilical vein and adult saphenous vein endothelial cells: implications for newborn hemostasis and for laboratory models of endothelial cell function.

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  • 1Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114, USA.


In this work we have undertaken a comparative study of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and human saphenous vein endothelial cells (HSVECs) with respect to functional and antigenic tissue factor (TF), tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), and TF mRNA. Monolayers of each cell type (passage 2, except where specified) were grown to confluence and then activated for 4 h with either 50 U/mL IL-1-alpha or 10 microg/mL tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Activated factor X appearing in supernatant was measured using a chromogenic assay, and both Northern blots and quantitative RT-PCR were performed to assess concentrations of TF mRNA accompanying activation. The role of TFPI was separately determined by ELISA for supernatant TFPI antigen, and by measurements of production of activated factor X in the presence of 0, 5, 15, or 50 microg/mL of an antibody directed against TFPI. To address a non-TF pathway endothelial cell function, antigenic concentrations of tissue plasminogen activator for both cell types was also determined by ELISA. HUVECs were found to produce 2.4- to 3.5-fold more functional TF. No significant HUVEC-HSVEC differences were detected in TF antigen, supernatant TFPI, anti-TFPI affinity for endothelial cell-associated TFPI, TF mRNA or its amplification products, and tissue plasminogen activator. Immunostaining for TF antigen, however, may have failed to detect a modest HUVEC-HSVEC difference. Our finding with respect to functional TF indicates that HUVECs and HSVECs are not equivalent in terms of models for endothelial cell function in small children versus adults.

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