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Lupus. 2010 Apr;19(4):394-9. doi: 10.1177/0961203309360841.

Antiphospholipid antibodies and the protein C pathway.

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Department of Clinical Chemistry and Haematology, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Haemostasis is a delicate balance between procoagulant and anticoagulant processes. In the human body usually anticoagulant mechanisms prevail over procoagulant mechanisms, thereby preventing a prothrombotic state. The antiphospholipid syndrome is an example in which this balance is shifted to a more prothrombotic state due to the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. One of the most extensively proposed pathogenic mechanisms within the antiphospholipid syndrome is the inhibition of protein C by antiphospholipid antibodies. Antiphospholipid antibodies have been described to have different actions on the protein C pathway, for example decreasing protein C and/or S plasma levels, inducing increased resistance against activated protein C and lowering thrombin levels (resulting in an impaired protein C activation). This review briefly discusses the actions of protein C in human body but mainly focuses on the effects of antiphospholipid antibodies on the protein C pathway that have been described in literature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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