Plasmin-dependent proteolysis of tissue factor pathway inhibitor in a mouse model of endotoxemia


Florea Lupu, Cardiovascular Biology Research Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, 825 NE 13th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA.
Tel.: +1 405 271 7462; fax: +1 405 271 7417.


Summary.  Background: The development of a procoagulant state in sepsis, owing to aberrant expression of tissue factor (TF) and a sharp decrease in the level of its major inhibitor, TF pathway inhibitor (TFPI), could lead to microthrombotic organ failure. The mechanism for the decline in TFPI activity in the lung could involve plasmin-mediated cleavage of the inhibitor. Objective: To investigate the effect of plasmin generation on lung-associated TFPI activity, in normal conditions and during infusion of endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide [LPS]) in mice. Methods: Plasmin generation and TFPI activity were assayed in the lungs of mice deficient in tissue-type plasminogen (Plg) activator (t-PA) or Plg, at 2 h after LPS or saline injection. Results: The sharp loss of lung-associated TFPI activity at 2 h after LPS challenge paralleled the abrupt increase in plasmin generation. TFPI activity was significantly retained in both t-PA−/− and Plg−/− mice, which are unable to generate plasmin. Conclusion: The increased plasmin generation during the early stages of sepsis could cleave/inactivate TFPI and thus lead to thrombotic complications.