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Acta Med Austriaca. 2002;29(3):89-92.

The anti-inflammatory actions of antithrombin--a review.

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Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Innsbruck.


Leukocyte-endothelial cell interaction and microvascular perfusion failure are characteristic deteriorations of the microcirculation in endotoxaemia and are known to play a crucial role in the development of septic multiple organ dysfunction. Recent studies have indicated that antithrombin III treatment is capable of significantly ameliorating these microcirculatory disorders. Endothelial cells have important anticoagulant systems, including the heparan sulfate-antithrombin system. Antithrombin III stimulates prostacyclin generation in endothelial cells by interacting with heparan sulfate of endothelial cells and inhibits cytokine and tissue factor production in endothelial cells and monocytes. Similar mechanisms may be involved in cellular actions of antithrombin III causing desensitization of chemoattractant receptors of leukocytes by activating the heparan sulfate proteoglycan, syndecan-4. Thus, antithrombin III might be among the useful agents for treating coagulation abnormalities associated with sepsis or other inflammation because it inhibits not only coagulation but also downregulation of anticoagulant activities of endothelial cells and affects leukocyte activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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