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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2007 Aug;27(8):1687-93. Epub 2007 Jun 7.

Role of the extrinsic pathway of blood coagulation in hemostasis and thrombosis.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, Mail Code SP30-3040, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Hemostasis requires both platelets and the coagulation system. At sites of vessel injury, bleeding is minimized by the formation of a hemostatic plug consisting of platelets and fibrin. The traditional view of the regulation of blood coagulation is that the initiation phase is triggered by the extrinsic pathway, whereas amplification requires the intrinsic pathway. The extrinsic pathway consists of the transmembrane receptor tissue factor (TF) and plasma factor VII/VIIa (FVII/FVIIa), and the intrinsic pathway consists of plasma FXI, FIX, and FVIII. Under physiological conditions, TF is constitutively expressed by adventitial cells surrounding blood vessels and initiates clotting. In addition so-called blood-borne TF in the form of cell-derived microparticles (MPs) and TF expression within platelets suggests that TF may play a role in the amplification phase of the coagulation cascade. Under pathologic conditions, TF is expressed by monocytes, neutrophils, endothelial cells, and platelets, which results in an elevation of the levels of circulating TF-positive MPs. TF expression within the vasculature likely contributes to thrombosis in a variety of diseases. Understanding how the extrinsic pathway of blood coagulation contributes to hemostasis and thrombosis may lead to the development of safe and effective hemostatic agents and antithrombotic drugs.

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