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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2011 Nov;31(11):2509-17. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.111.236828.

Human thrombomodulin knock-in mice reveal differential effects of human thrombomodulin on thrombosis and atherosclerosis.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA.



We sought to develop a murine model to examine the antithrombotic and antiinflammatory functions of human thrombomodulin in vivo.


Knock-in mice that express human thrombomodulin from the murine thrombomodulin gene locus were generated. Compared with wild-type mice, human thrombomodulin knock-in mice exhibited decreased protein C activation in the aorta (P<0.01) and lung (P<0.001). Activation of endogenous protein C following infusion of thrombin was decreased by 90% in knock-in mice compared with wild-type mice (P<0.05). Carotid artery thrombosis induced by photochemical injury occurred more rapidly in knock-in mice (12±3 minutes) than in wild-type mice (31±6 minutes; P<0.05). No differences in serum cytokine levels were detected between knock-in and wild-type mice after injection of endotoxin. When crossed with apolipoprotein E-deficient mice and fed a Western diet, knock-in mice had a further decrease in protein C activation but did not exhibit increased atherosclerosis.


Expression of human thrombomodulin in place of murine thrombomodulin produces viable mice with a prothrombotic phenotype but unaltered responses to systemic inflammatory or atherogenic stimuli. This humanized animal model will be useful for investigating the function of human thrombomodulin under pathophysiological conditions in vivo.

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