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Blut. 1990 Nov;61(5):258-66.


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Kreiskrankenhaus Reutlingen, Federal Republic of Germany.


The plasma protein FXII (Hageman factor) has been shown to be linked with the plasma defence systems of coagulation, fibrinolysis, kallikrein-kinin and complement. It can be activated by surface contact activation and in solution. Surface contact activation is a complex phenomenon involving negatively charged surfaces, FXII, high molecular weight kininogen and plasma kallikrein. Fluid-phase activation can be effected by a variety of serine proteases. In both types of activation the FXII zymogen is converted to active enzymes. FXII levels in plasma are low or undetectable in both inherited deficiencies and in a variety of clinical conditions. FXII levels can also be elevated in some clinical conditions. Although discovered as a clotting protein FXII appears to play an important role in the kallikrein-kinin and fibrinolytic systems and also has effects on cells. Recent studies suggest that therapeutic blockade of activation of FXII can be of benefit in certain clinical conditions.

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