• Lupus anticoagulants;
  • thrombosis;
  • anticardiolipin antibodies

ABSTRACT: Antiphospholipid antibodies (APA) are a family of immunoglobulins that react with anionic phospholipids, or anionic phospholipids-protein complexes. Recent evidence would support the latter definition. Lupus anticoagulants (LA) inhibit in vitro phospholipid dependent coagulation tests [e.g., activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), prothrombin time (PT), and dilute Russell viper venom time (dRVVT)]. This inhibition appears to be specific for reagent phospholipids. The addition of freeze-thawed platelets or activated platelets will result in correction of the LA-induced abnormality. Anticardiolipin antibodies (ACA) are related to LA but appear to be distinct. ACA are detected by solid phase assays (ELISA, RIA) and require a plasma cofactor: β2 Glycoprotein-I (β2 GPI). ACA and LA activities can be separated in individual patient plasmas by affinity chromatography. In some instances they are of differing isotypes. Preliminary evaluation of β2 GPI in coagulation assays suggests it may function as a cofactor for LA activity. Recent work also suggests human prothrombin may represent a necessary cofactor for in vitro LA activity. Paradoxically, patients with LA/ACA may sustain thromboembolic events involving both venous and arterial sites. The prothrombotic properties of LA/ ACA have not been satisfactorily characterized. A number of proposals have been reported, including inhibition of prostacyclin (PGI2) generation by endothelial cells, decreased activity of the protein C system, impaired fibrinolysis, and inhibition of β2 GPI. Among these various hypotheses, down regulation of the protein C system appears most plausible. Also, LA/ACA may interfere with the phospholipase A2-phospholipid substrate complex involved in the generation of arachidonic acid from membrane phospholipids.