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Thromb Haemost. 1997 Sep;78(3):1088-92.

Antithrombin acts as a negative acute phase protein as established with studies on HepG2 cells and in baboons.

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Center for Hemostasis, Thrombosis, Atherosclerosis and Inflammation Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Patients with sepsis or after major surgery have decreased plasma levels of the anticoagulant protein antithrombin. In such patients elevated levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) are present and this interleukin is known to induce positive and negative acute phase responses. To investigate the possibility that antithrombin acts as a negative acute phase response-protein we performed studies on the human hepatoma cell line HepG2 in vitro and baboons in vivo. HepG2 cells were treated with recombinant human IL-6, IL-1beta, or combinations of the latter two, and tested for production of antithrombin, fibrinogen and prealbumin (transthyretin). This treatment resulted in a dose dependent increase in fibrinogen concentration (with a maximum effect of 2.8-2.9-fold) and a dose dependent decrease in prealbumin (with a maximum effect of 0.6-0.7-fold) and antithrombin concentrations (with a maximum effect of 0.6-0.8-fold). Simultaneous treatment of the HepG2 cells with IL-6 (1,000 pg/ml or 2,500 pg/ml) and IL-1beta (25 pg/ml), provided more extensively decreased prealbumin (0.8 and 0.6-fold, respectively) and antithrombin concentration (0.7 and 0.6-fold, respectively) compared to the single interleukin treatment at these concentrations. Baboons treated with 2 microg IL-6 x kg body-weight(-1) x day(-1) showed increased plasma CRP levels (59-fold, p <0.05) and decreased prealbumin (0.9-fold, p <0.05) and antithrombin (0.8-fold, p <0.05) plasma levels, without evidence for coagulation activation. Our results indicate that antithrombin acts as a negative acute phase protein, which may contribute to the decreased antithrombin plasma levels observed after major surgery or in sepsis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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