• protein C pathway;
  • inflammation;
  • risk factors;
  • thrombosis;
  • factor VIII


Systemic inflammation activates the tissue factor/factor VIIa complex (TF/FVIIa), leading to a procoagulant state, which may be enhanced by impairment of physiological anticoagulant pathways, such as the protein C system. Besides impaired protein C activation, resistance to activated protein C (APC) may occur. We studied the effect of endotoxemia on APC resistance, analysed its determinants and evaluated the effect of TF/FVIIa inhibition on endotoxin-induced APC resistance. Sixteen healthy male volunteers participated in the study, eight receiving endotoxin alone and eight receiving the combination of endotoxin and recombinant Nematode Anticoagulant Protein c2 (rNAPc2), a potent inhibitor of TF/FVIIa. Parameters of coagulation were subsequently studied. The sensitivity to APC was determined by two tests: a test based on the endogenous thrombin potential and a test based on the activated partial thromboplastin time. In response to endotoxemia, both tests detected a transient APC resistance that was predominantly mediated by an increase in factor VIII and was not influenced by TF/FVIIa inhibition. In vitro tests confirmed that an increase in factor VIII induced APC resistance, as measured by both tests. This finding suggests that APC resistance might play a role in the procoagulant state occurring during human endotoxemia.