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Atherosclerosis. 1998 Aug;139(2):265-71.

Expression of tissue factor in the rabbit aorta after balloon injury.

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First Department of Pathology, Miyazaki Medical College, Kiyotake, Japan.


Tissue factor (TF) is a primary initiator of the extrinsic pathway of blood coagulation. Recently TF has been shown to be overexpressed in atherosclerotic lesions and it is thought to contribute to the thrombogenicity of the plaques. We studied TF expression in the media and the neointima of rabbit aortas at various intervals after balloon injury. TF protein was immunohistochemically detected in smooth muscle cells (SMCs) of the inner layer of the media at 2 h after injury and was subsequently detected in SMCs in the neointima, whereas no TF expression was detected in the uninjured aortas except for the adventitia. Immunohistochemical and immunoelectron microscopic studies revealed that TF-positive SMCs were of an immature or synthetic phenotype and TF protein was detected in the rough endoplasmic reticulum in SMCs. TF mRNA in the intima and media increased at 2 h after injury and returned to near baseline levels at 12-24 h, whereas TF activity also increased at 2 h and continued at similar levels over the next 72 h. TF mRNA and activity increased markedly at 2-8 weeks after injury. These data suggest that TF is rapidly induced in the medial SMCs and hereafter is constitutively expressed in the neointima. TF expressed in the neointima may contribute to hypercoagulable properties of injured arteries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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