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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1995 Nov;15(11):2055-62.

Thrombin induces the redistribution and acute release of tissue factor pathway inhibitor from specific granules within human endothelial cells in culture.

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  • 1Coagulation and Fibrinolysis Section, Thrombosis Research Institute, London, UK.


Tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) is a vascular anticoagulant that regulates the tissue (TF)-dependent pathway of coagulation. The majority of intravascular TFPI is thought to be noncovalently bound to the vessel wall. Our immunolocalization studies in cultures of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and immortalized EA.hy926 cells that TFPI is located in well-defined granules evenly spread over the cell surface and with apical polarization within the cytoplasm. These granules are smaller than and distinct from Weibel-Palade bodies. Upon treatment of cultured cells with low concentrations of thrombin (0.01 to 1 NIH U/mL), a marked redistribution of TFPI, occurred with patching in focal points and increased exposure of both TFPI antigen and anticoagulant activity on the surface of the stimulated endothelial cells. This redistribution was paralleled by an acute release of TFPI in the cell medium. EA.hy926 cells responded more readily to thrombin stimulation than HUVECs. The process was inhibited by both hirudin and anti-thrombin receptor antibody. Our findings demonstrate a novel mechanism by which thrombin may exert a negative feedback control on blood coagulation. Therefore, this pathway can be physiological importance in controlling TF-mediated thrombin generation.

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