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Blood. 2005 Apr 1;105(7):2764-70. Epub 2004 Dec 16.

Tissue factor activity in whole blood.

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  • 1University of Vermont, Department of Biochemistry, Given Building, 89 Beaumont Ave, Burlington, VT 05405-0068, USA.


Tissue factor (TF) is an integral membrane protein essential for hemostasis. During the past several years, a number of studies have suggested that physiologically active TF circulates in blood at concentrations greater than 30 pM either as a component of blood cells and microparticles or as a soluble plasma protein. In our studies using contact pathway-inhibited blood or plasma containing activated platelets, typically no clot is observed for 20 minutes in the absence of exogenous TF. An inhibitory anti-TF antibody also has no effect on the clotting time in the absence of exogenous TF. The addition of TF to whole blood at a concentration as low as 16 to 20 fM results in pronounced acceleration of clot formation. The presence of potential platelet TF activity was evaluated using ionophore-treated platelets and employing functional and immunoassays. No detectable TF activity or antigen was observed on quiescent or ionophore-stimulated platelets. Similarly, no TF antigen was detected on mononuclear cells in nonstimulated whole blood, whereas in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated blood a significant fraction of monocytes express TF. Our data indicate that the concentration of physiologically active TF in non-cytokine-stimulated blood from healthy individuals cannot exceed and is probably lower than 20 fM.

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