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Blood. 2013 May 23;121(21):4413-6. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-11-465674. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

Acute and severe coagulopathy in adult mice following silencing of hepatic antithrombin and protein C production.

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Einthoven Laboratory for Experimental Vascular Medicine, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Mice deficient in the anticoagulants antithrombin (Serpinc1) or protein C (Proc) display premature death due to thrombosis-related coagulopathy, thereby precluding their use in gene function studies and thrombosis models. We used RNA interference to silence Serpinc1 and/or Proc in normal adult mice. The severe coagulopathy that followed combined "knockdown" of these genes is reported. Two days after siRNA injection, thrombi (occlusive) were observed in vessels (large and medium-sized) in multiple tissues, and hemorrhages were prominent in the ocular, mandibular, and maxillary areas. Tissue fibrin deposition and reduction of plasma fibrinogen accompanied this phenotype. The coagulopathy was prevented by dabigatran etexilate treatment. Silencing of Serpinc1 alone yielded a comparable but milder phenotype with later onset. The phenotype was absent when Proc was targeted alone. We conclude that RNA interference of Serpinc1 and/or Proc allows for evaluation of the function of these genes in vivo and provides a novel, controlled mouse model for spontaneous venous thrombosis.

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