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J Lab Clin Med. 1992 Mar;119(3):221-30.

Altered levels of antithrombin III and fibrinogen in the aortic wall of the alloxan-induced diabetic rabbit: evidence of a prothrombotic state.

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Department of Pathology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


The distribution and behavior of the rabbit plasma proteins albumin, fibrinogen, and antithrombin III (ATIII) (isoforms alpha and beta), have been examined in groups of alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits and control rabbits. By injecting radiolabeled preparations intravenously, measurements of plasma clearance, rates of catabolism, and compartmental distribution were made for each protein. In addition, after allowing the radiolabeled proteins to circulate for 12 hours, we excised aortas after exsanguination and determined the content of these proteins in the endothelium and subendothelium. The respective fractional catabolic rates of ATIII-alpha and ATIII-beta were similar in the diabetic and control rabbits, but fibrinogen and albumin were catabolized more slowly in the diabetic rabbit than in the control rabbit. The distributions of albumin and the ATIII isoforms between the intravascular, noncirculating vascular, and extravascular compartments in the diabetic rabbit were similar to the respective proteins in the control rabbit, but a smaller proportion of fibrinogen was associated with the vascular compartment of the diabetic rabbit when compared with that in the control rabbit. At 12 hours after injection, the quantities of fibrinogen and albumin associated with the diabetic aorta endothelium and particularly the subendothelium were increased, whereas ATIII-alpha and ATIII-beta were decreased relative to the control aorta. The fibrinogen-to-ATIII ratio in the diabetic aorta was increased twofold to threefold when compared with that in the control aorta. We conclude that the increased ratio of fibrinogen to ATIII in the aorta wall of the diabetic rabbit may be characteristic of the prothrombotic state that is conspicuous in insulin-dependent diabetes.

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