Antibodies to prothrombin (APTs) and to β2-glycoprotein I are the major autoantibodies responsible for lupus anticoagulant (LAC) activity. APTs comprise antibodies against prothrombin alone as well as antibodies against phosphatidylserine/prothrombin complex (anti-PS/PT), the latter being highly associated with the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). The effect of anti-PS/PT on thrombin generation has not been elucidated, and the paradoxical effect of LAC (an anticoagulant in vitro, but a procoagulant in vivo) remains an enigma. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of anti-PS/PT on thrombin generation and to examine the LAC paradox.


We evaluated 36 anti-PS/PT–positive APS patients and 127 healthy subjects. Markers of in vivo thrombin/fibrin generation, including prothrombin fragment F1+2, thrombin–antithrombin III complex, soluble fibrin monomer, D-dimer, and fibrin degradation products, were measured. Mouse monoclonal anti-PS/PT antibody 231D was established, and its effects on in vitro thrombin generation were investigated by chromogenic assay.


Significantly elevated levels of markers of thrombin/fibrin generation were observed in anti-PS/PT–positive patients, regardless of the presence or absence of anticardiolipin antibodies, as compared with healthy subjects. In the presence of low concentrations of human activated factor V (FVa), monoclonal antibody 231D increased thrombin generation in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, when high concentrations of FVa were added, monoclonal antibody 231D decreased thrombin generation. Under a constant concentration of FVa, a high concentration of human FXa enhanced the effect of 231D.


The presence of anti-PS/PT greatly correlated with increased thrombin generation in APS patients. The in vitro effects of monoclonal antibody 231D on thrombin generation are “biaxial” according to the FVa/FXa balance. These data may serve as a clue to understanding the LAC paradox and the thrombogenic properties of anti-PS/PT.