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J Thromb Haemost. 2006 May;4(5):1011-6.

Disposition of tissue factor pathway inhibitor during cardiopulmonary bypass.

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1
Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA. brian.donahue@vanderbilt.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The tissue factor (TF) factor (F) VIIa complex activates coagulation FIX and FX to initiate coagulation, and also cleaves protease activated receptors (PARs) to initiate inflammatory processes in vascular cells. Tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) is the only specific inhibitor of the TF-FVIIa complex, regulating both its procoagulant and pro-inflammatory properties. Upon heparin infusion during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), a heparin releasable pool of endothelial associated TFPI circulates in plasma. Following protamine neutralization of heparin, the plasma TFPI level decreases, but does not return completely to baseline, suggesting that during CPB a fraction of the plasma TFPI becomes heparin-independent. We have investigated the structural and functional properties of plasma TFPI during CPB to further characterize how TFPI is altered during this procedure.

METHODS:

We enrolled 17 patients undergoing first-time cardiac surgery involving CPB. Plasma samples were obtained at baseline, 5 min and 1 h after start of CPB (receiving heparin), 10 min after protamine administration (off CPB) and 24 h following surgery. Samples were analyzed for full-length and free (non-lipoprotein bound) TFPI antigen by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and for TFPI anticoagulant activity using an amidolytic assay. Western blot analysis was used to identify TFPI species of varying molecular weights in three additional patients. Dunnett's test for post hoc comparisons was used for statistical analysis.

RESULTS:

The ELISA and Western blot data indicated that an increase in full-length TFPI accounted for most of the heparin releasable TFPI. Following heparin neutralization with protamine, the full-length TFPI antigen returned to baseline levels while the free TFPI antigen and the total plasma TFPI activity remained elevated. This was associated with the appearance of a new 38 kDa form of plasma TFPI identified by Western blot analysis. The 38 kDa form of TFPI did not react with an antibody directed against the C-terminal region of TFPI indicating it has undergone proteolysis within this region. All TFPI measurements returned to baseline 24 h following CPB.

CONCLUSIONS:

During CPB the full-length form of TFPI is the predominant form in plasma because of its prompt release from the endothelial surface following heparin administration. Upon heparin neutralization with protamine, full-length TFPI redistributes back to the endothelial surface. However, a new 38 kDa TFPI fragment is generated during CPB and remains circulating in plasma, indicating that TFPI undergoes proteolytic degradation during CPB. This degradation may result in a decrease in endothelium-associated TFPI immediately post-CPB, and may contribute to the procoagulant and proinflammatory state that often complicates CPB.

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