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Blood. 2002 Jul 15;100(2):517-23.

C5a stimulates production of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 in human mast cells and basophils.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine II, University of Vienna, Austria. johann.wojta@univie.ac.at


We have recently shown that resting human mast cells (MCs) produce tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) without simultaneously expressing plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1). In the present study we have identified the anaphylatoxin rhC5a as a potent inducer of PAI-1 expression in human MCs and basophils. In primary human skin MCs and primary blood basophils, exposure to rhC5a was followed by an increase from undetectable to significant levels of PAI-1. In addition, rhC5a induced a concentration- and time-dependent increase in PAI-1 antigen in the MC line HMC-1 and the basophil cell line KU-812 and increased the expression of PAI-1 mRNA in HMC-1. In conditioned media of HMC-1 treated with rhC5a, active PAI-1 could be detected. A simultaneous loss of t-PA activity in conditioned media from the same cells indicated that rhC5a-induced PAI-1 was capable of inhibiting the enzymatic activity of coproduced t-PA. Correspondingly, the levels of t-PA-PAI-1 complexes increased in rhC5a-treated cells. When HMC-1 cells were incubated with pertussis toxin or anti-C5a receptor antibodies, the effect of rhC5a on PAI-1 production was completely abolished. Treatment of C5a with plasmin resulted in loss of its ability to induce PAI-1 production in MCs. Considering the suggested role for MCs and components of the complement system in the development of cardiovascular diseases, we hypothesize that MCs, by producing t-PA in a resting state and by expressing PAI-1 when activated by C5a, might participate in the modulation of the balance between proteases and protease inhibitors regulating tissue injury and repair in such disease processes.

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