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J Immunol. 1998 Oct 15;161(8):4318-24.

Factor Xa induces cytokine production and expression of adhesion molecules by human umbilical vein endothelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands. n.senden@ah.unimaas.nl


Proinflammatory effects induced by the serine protease factor Xa were investigated in HUVEC. Exposure of cells to factor Xa (5-80 nM) concentration dependently stimulated the production of IL-6, IL-8, and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) and the expression of E-selectin, ICAM-1, and VCAM-1, which was accompanied by polymorphonuclear leukocyte adhesion. The effects of factor Xa were blocked by antithrombin III, but not by the thrombin-specific inhibitor hirudin, suggesting that factor Xa elicits these responses directly and not via thrombin. IL-1alpha and TNF-alpha were not implicated, since neither the IL-1 receptor antagonist nor a TNF-neutralizing Ab could suppress the factor Xa responses. Active site-inhibited factor Xa and factor Xa depleted from gamma-carboxyglutamic acid residues were completely inactive. The effector cell protease receptor-1 (EPR-1) seems not to be involved since anti-EPR-1 Abs failed to inhibit cytokine production. Moreover, neither the factor X peptide Leu83-Leu88, representing the inter-epidermal growth factor sequence in factor Xa that mediates ligand binding to EPR-1, nor the peptide AG1, corresponding to the EPR-1 sequence Ser123-Pro137 implicated in factor Xa binding, inhibited the factor Xa-induced cytokine production. In conclusion, these findings indicate that factor Xa evokes a proinflammatory response in endothelial cells, which requires both its catalytic and gamma-carboxyglutamic acid-containing domain. The receptor system involved in these responses induced by factor Xa remains to be established.

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