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Keywords:

  • endothelial protein C receptor;
  • endotoxin;
  • hemostasis;
  • transgene expression

Summary.  Previous studies have shown that blocking endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR)-protein C interaction results in about an 88% decrease in circulating activated protein C (APC) levels generated in response to thrombin infusion and exacerbates the response to Escherichia coli. To determine whether higher levels of EPCR expression on endothelial cells might further enhance the activation of protein C and protect the host during septicemia, we generated a transgenic mouse (Tie2-EPCR) line which placed the expression of EPCR under the control of the Tie2 promoter. The mice express abundant EPCR on endothelial cells not only on large vessels, but also on capillaries where EPCR is generally low. Tie2-EPCR mice show higher levels of circulating APC after thrombin infusion. Upon infusion with factor Xa and phospholipids, Tie2-EPCR mice generate more APC, less thrombin and are protected from fibrin/ogen deposition compared with wild type controls. The Tie2-EPCR animals also generate more APC upon lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge and have a survival advantage. These results reveal that overexpression of EPCR can protect animals against thrombotic or septic challenge.