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Circ Res. 1999 Jan 8-22;84(1):84-92.

Local overexpression of thrombomodulin for in vivo prevention of arterial thrombosis in a rabbit model.

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Department of Cell Biology, Department of Medicine, Division of Plastic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.


-Endothelial thrombomodulin plays a critical role in hemostasis by binding thrombin and subsequently converting protein C to its active form, a powerful anticoagulant. Thrombomodulin thus represents a central mechanism by which patency is maintained in normal vessels. However, thrombomodulin expression decreases in perturbed endothelial cells, predisposing to thrombotic occlusion. An adenoviral construct expressing thrombomodulin (Adv/RSV-THM) was created and functionally characterized in vitro and in vivo. The impact of local overexpression of thrombomodulin on in vivo thrombus formation was subsequently examined in a stasis/injury model of arterial thrombosis. The construct prevented arterial thrombosis formation in all animals, while viral and nonviral controls typically developed occluding thrombi. By histological analysis, nonviral controls exhibited intravascular thrombus occluding a mean of 70.52+/-3.72% of available lumen, while viral controls reached 86. 85+/-2.82% thrombotic occlusion; in contrast, Adv/RSV-THM reduced thrombosis to 28.61+/-3.31% of lumen in cross section. No significant intima-to-media ratio was observed in the thrombomodulin group relative to controls. Local infiltration of granulocytes and macrophages significantly decreased in the Adv/RSV-THM group relative to controls, while neutrophilic infiltration increased in viral controls relative to nonviral controls. This construct thus offers a viable technique for promoting a locally thromboresistant small-caliber artery, without the inflammatory damage that has limited many other adenoviral applications.

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