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Thromb Res. 1998 Mar 1;89(5):233-41.

Effects of various doses of antithrombin III on endotoxin-induced endothelial cell injury and coagulation abnormalities in rats.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Kumamoto University School of Medicine, Japan.


We previously demonstrated that antithrombin III reduced the injury to endothelial cells caused by activated leukocytes in rats administered endotoxin. This occurred via the increase of the endothelial release of prostaglandin I2, which is a potent inhibitor of leukocyte activation. We evaluated the dose of antithrombin III required to prevent such endothelial cell injury in rats administered endotoxin, by comparing the effects of various antithrombin II doses on the pulmonary vascular injury. The intravenous administration of endotoxin, 5 mg/kg, produced a transient accumulation of leukocytes in the lung, followed by pulmonary vascular injury, as indicated by an increase in the pulmonary vascular permeability, and coagulation abnormalities. The dose of 250 U/kg significantly inhibited all such effects of endotoxin. While lower doses of antithrombin III (50 and 100 U/kg) significantly inhibited such coagulation abnormalities, they failed to prevent either the pulmonary accumulation of leukocytes or the subsequent pulmonary vascular injury. Rats administered endotoxin exhibited an accumulation of neutrophils and edematous changes in the pulmonary interstitial space. Although such changes were reduced after 250 U/kg of antithrombin III, they were unaffected by lower doses of 50 and 100 U/kg. Plasma levels of 6-keto-PGF1alpha were markedly increased in rats 90 min after the administration of endotoxin, and were significantly decreased in the endotoxin-treated rats administered the lower doses of antithrombin III (50 and 100 U/kg), but not altered in those endotoxin-treated rats receiving 250 U/kg of antithrombin III. These findings suggest that a higher antithrombin III dose is necessary to prevent endothelial cell injury than is required to inhibit coagulation abnormalities in an animal model of sepsis. These observations support the notion that antithrombin III may prevent endotoxin-induced endothelial cell injury by promoting endothelial release of prostaglandin I2 and thus inhibiting leukocyte activation.

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