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Br J Haematol. 1994 Oct;88(2):364-71.

Platelet procoagulant complex assembly in a tissue factor-initiated system.

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Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 27599-7035.


The aim of this study was to examine the assembly of the factor IXa/VIIIa (Xase) and factor Xa/Va (IIase) complexes on the platelet surface in a system designed to mimic tissue factor-initiated coagulation. The experimental system contained tissue factor-bearing monocytes, unactivated platelets, and plasma concentrations of factors V, VIII, IX, X, prothrombin, tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), antithrombin III (ATIII), and small amounts of factor VIIa. The time courses of platelet activation, coagulation factor binding and thrombin generation were compared. In this system, thrombin generation by the combination of monocytes and platelets was synergistic compared to each cell type alone. Platelet activation and thrombin generation were minimal in the absence of prothrombin or factor X. After a lag period, platelet activation began, followed by progressive binding of factors Va and VIIIa. This was followed by factor IXa and Xa binding and the onset of thrombin generation. Unexpectedly, a transient early increase in platelet-associated factor IX and X was also seen, that was due to release from platelets. The amount of factor IX bound to isolated activated platelets was increased by addition of factor VIIIa, or by activation of factor IX to IXa. In contrast, factor VIIIa binding was not altered by the presence of factor IX or IXa. We conclude that in a tissue factor-initiated system, assembly of the procoagulant complexes on the platelet surface begins after platelet activation occurs. Platelet activation requires thrombin generation in the vicinity of the tissue factor bearing cells. The cofactors Va and VIIIa bind to the platelets and facilitate subsequent binding of factors IXa and Xa to form functional procoagulant complexes.

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