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J Clin Invest. 2011 Jul;121(7):2911-20. doi: 10.1172/JCI40782. Epub 2011 Jun 6.

Absence of IFN-γ accelerates thrombus resolution through enhanced MMP-9 and VEGF expression in mice.

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Department of Forensic Medicine, Institute of Advanced Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama, Japan.


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a major cause of pulmonary thromboembolism, a leading cause of death in individuals with DVT. Several lines of evidence indicate proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α are involved in thrombus formation and resolution, but the roles of IFN-γ remain unclear. To address this issue, we performed ligation of the inferior vena cava to induce DVT in WT and IFN-γ-deficient (Ifng-/-) mice. In WT mice, intrathrombotic IFN-γ levels were elevated progressively as the postligation interval was extended. Thrombus size was substantially smaller at 10 and 14 days in Ifng-/- mice than in WT mice. Intrathrombotic collagen content was remarkably reduced at more than 10 days after the ligation in Ifng-/- mice compared with WT mice. The expression and activity of MMP-9, but not MMP-2, was higher at the late phase in Ifng-/- mice than in WT mice. Moreover, intrathrombotic recanalization was increased in Ifng-/- mice, with enhanced Vegf gene expression, compared with that in WT mice. Activation of the IFN-γ/Stat1 signal pathway suppressed PMA-induced Mmp9 and Vegf gene expression in peritoneal macrophages. Furthermore, administration of anti-IFN-γ mAbs accelerated thrombus resolution in WT mice. Collectively, these findings indicate that IFN-γ can have detrimental roles in thrombus resolution and may be a good molecular target for the acceleration of thrombus resolution in individuals with DVT.

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