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J Lab Clin Med. 2004 Apr;143(4):241-54.

Fibrinogen catabolism within the procoagulant VX-2 tumor of rabbit lung in vivo: Effluxing fibrin(ogen) fragments contain antiangiogenic activity.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University Health Sciences Centre, 1200 Main Street W, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8N 3Z5.


Many types of solid tumors are known to be procoagulant environments. This is partly because a hyperpermeable vascular system within the tumor allows plasma hemostatic factors to accumulate in relatively high concentrations in the stroma, and many solid-tumor cells express tissue factor or a procoagulant factor. These circumstances appear to exist in the VX-2 lung tumor of the New Zealand White (NZW) rabbit, and they sustain a measurable turnover of stromal deposits of fibrin(ogen). We have measured the turnover of fibrinogen within tumors of the VX-2 tumor-burdened rabbit and analysed the catabolic products of fibrin(ogen) and the status of fibrinolysis in tumor-derived interpleural effusate. Using intravenously injected (125)I-labeled rabbit fibrinogen as a marker, we found that fibrinogen (approximate blood concentration 1740 microg/mL) passed from blood to VX-2 tumor stroma, saturating the tumor at a concentration of approximately 348 microg fibrinogen/g in approximately 12 hours. We measured fibrin(ogen) fragments, at a concentration of approximately 292 microg/mL, in interpleural effusates that we recovered from 13% of the VX-2-burdened rabbits. Unreduced fibrin(ogen) fragments consisted of 4 major components with a relative molecular mass of approximately 250,000 (assumed to be fragment X; approximately 9% of total fragments from densitometry of immunoblots), 200,000 (d-dimer; 41%), 110,000 (fragment D; 49%), and 50,000 to 55,000 (fragment E; 1%-2%) kD. Total fibrin(ogen) fragments immunopurified from effusates exhibited an antiangiogenic effect when subjected to a chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane procedure. Interpleural effusates were devoid of plasmin activity or active plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 but contained plasmin complexes and active urokinase-like plasminogen activator (uPA), alpha(2)-antiplasmin, and thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor. We speculate that VX-2 cells release uPA to activate fibrinolysis within the tumor stroma. Catabolic products of hemostasis (eg, fibrinolytic fragments, angiostatin) flux from the stroma into the interpleural space, thereby providing a net antiangiogenic property to the effusate and ultimately to the lymphatic and circulatory systems.

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