Publications by authors named "Nicola Semeraro"

30 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The Prothrombotic State Associated with SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Pathophysiological Aspects.

Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis 2021 1;13(1):e2021045. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Oncologia Umana, Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

Severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is frequently associated with microvascular thrombosis, especially in the lung, or macrovascular thrombosis, mainly venous thromboembolism, which significantly contributes to the disease mortality burden. COVID-19 patients also exhibit distinctive laboratory abnormalities that are compatible with a prothrombotic state. The key event underlying COVID-19-associated thrombotic complications is an excessive host inflammatory response to severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection generating multiple inflammatory mediators, mainly cytokines and complement activation products. The latter, along with the virus itself, the increased levels of angiotensin II and hypoxia, drive the major cellular changes promoting thrombosis, which include: (1) aberrant expression of tissue factor by activated alveolar epithelial cells, monocytes-macrophages and neutrophils, and production of other prothrombotic factors by activated endothelial cells (ECs) and platelets; (2) reduced expression of physiological anticoagulants by dysfunctional ECs, and (3) suppression of fibrinolysis by the endothelial overproduction of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and, likely, by heightened thrombin-mediated activation of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor. Moreover, upon activation or death, neutrophils and other cells release nuclear materials that are endowed with potent prothrombotic properties. The ensuing thrombosis significantly contributes to lung injury and, in most severe COVID-19 patients, to multiple organ dysfunction. Insights into the pathogenesis of COVID-19-associated thrombosis may have implications for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4084/MJHID.2021.045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8265369PMC
July 2021

Extracellular histones promote fibrinolysis by single-chain urokinase-type plasminogen activator in a factor seven activating protease-dependent way.

Thromb Res 2020 12 23;196:193-199. Epub 2020 Aug 23.

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Oncologia Umana, Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

Introduction: Extracellular histones inhibit tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA)-mediated fibrinolysis by modifying fibrin structure and rheological properties. However, other plasminogen activators involved in intravascular and extravascular fibrinolysis have not been considered yet.

Objectives: We investigated the effect of histones on fibrinolysis driven by different plasminogen activators.

Methods: Clot lysis induced by t-PA, urokinase (u-PA) and its single chain precursor (scu-PA) was evaluated by turbidimetry. Conversion of scu-PA to u-PA and activation of factor seven activating protease (FSAP) were assessed by fluorogenic and chromogenic assays, respectively.

Results: Histones delayed t-PA- and u-PA-mediated fibrinolysis but strongly accelerated scu-PA-driven clot lysis through the enhancement of scu-PA to u-PA conversion. This effect required a plasma factor identified as FSAP by the following findings: 1) histones enhanced neither scu-PA activation nor scu-PA-mediated clot lysis under purified conditions; 2) in plasma, the enhancement of fibrinolytic activity by histones was abolished by a neutralizing anti-FSAP antibody; and 3) histones promoted the activation of plasma FSAP. The effect of the natural mixture of histones on scu-PA-driven fibrinolysis was differentially recapitulated by the individual recombinant histones, H4 displaying the strongest activity. When complexed to DNA, histones still accelerated scu-PA-mediated fibrinolysis but with a lesser efficiency due to a reduced FSAP activation. Finally, preincubation of histones with heparin or activated protein C, two known inhibitors of histones, further amplified histone-mediated boost of scu-PA-driven fibrinolysis.

Conclusions: Enhancement of FSAP-mediated scu-PA activity by histones may play yet unforeseen roles in intravascular fibrinolysis and contribute to extravascular proteolysis and tissue damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2020.08.034DOI Listing
December 2020

FVIII/VWF complex displays a greater pro-haemostatic activity than FVIII preparations devoid of VWF: Study in plasma and cell-based models.

Haemophilia 2020 Jul 23;26(4):e151-e160. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

Introduction: Plasma-derived FVIII/VWF complex was reported to be less sensitive to inhibitors than FVIII preparations devoid of VWF.

Aim: To compare the efficacy of FVIII/VWF complex (Fanhdi) and five different VWF-free FVIII preparations in restoring thrombin generation and activation of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) in haemophilic plasma, with and without inhibitor, and in cell-based models.

Methods: Experiments were performed in haemophilic plasma supplemented with inhibitory IgG or in plasma samples obtained from haemophilia A patients without (n = 11) and with inhibitor (n = 12). Thrombin generation was evaluated by calibrated automated thrombography (CAT) under standard conditions, in the presence of activated protein C (APC) or thrombomodulin (TM), and in cell-based models including endothelial cells, either alone or in combination with platelets or tissue factor-expressing blood mononuclear cells. The kinetics of TAFI activation was determined by a two-stage functional assay in the absence and in the presence of APC.

Results: In haemophilic plasma without inhibitor, Fanhdi enhanced thrombin generation and TAFI activation as well as recombinant (2nd-4th generation) and plasma-derived FVIII preparations devoid of VWF. On the contrary, in plasma with inhibitor, Fanhdi displayed a greater ability to restore thrombin generation and TAFI activation under all tested conditions. Notably, in cell-based models including endothelial cells, Fanhdi proved more efficient than all other preparations in improving thrombin generation even in the absence of inhibitor.

Conclusion: The greater pro-haemostatic activity of FVIII/VWF complex, either in haemophilic plasma with inhibitor or in the presence of endothelial cells, may offer therapeutic advantages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hae.14008DOI Listing
July 2020

D-dimer corrected for thrombin and plasmin generation is a strong predictor of mortality in patients with sepsis.

Blood Transfus 2020 07 19;18(4):304-311. Epub 2019 Nov 19.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, "Aldo Moro" University, Bari, Italy.

Background: D-dimer (DD) is the most used fibrin-related marker and has been proposed, either alone or in combination with other variables, as prognostic factor in patients with sepsis. However, DD generation depends on both coagulation and fibrinolysis, meaning that it may give false negative results in conditions associated with marked fibrinolytic inhibition such as sepsis. In this study, we tested whether correction of DD for thrombin and plasmin generation could improve its prognostic significance in septic patients.

Material And Methods: We performed a nested study in 269 septic patients from the ALBIOS trial. DD, prothrombin fragment 1+2 (F1+2) and plasmin-antiplasmin complex (PAP) were assayed at day 1. Corrected DD (DD) was calculated by the formula DD×PAP/F1+2, such that the lower the DD the greater the imbalance in favour of fibrin formation over fibrin lysis, and vice-versa. Primary outcome was 90-day mortality.

Results: DD showed a J-shaped relationship with mortality, which was highest in the first DD tertile (low fibrinolysis), intermediate in the 3 (high fibrinolysis), and lowest in the 2 (balanced fibrinolysis), suggesting an increased risk whenever the coagulation-fibrinolysis balance is tilted (p<0.0001). Neither DD, nor PAP or F1+2 showed a comparable association with mortality. DD was an independent prognostic factor in multivariable Cox models and significantly improved risk stratification (cNRI≥0.28). Finally, by combining DD and SOFA tertiles, we developed a score with high discriminatory power.

Discussion: DD is a good marker of the in vivo coagulation-fibrinolysis balance and displays a prognostic value in sepsis much higher than DD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2450/2019.0175-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7375887PMC
July 2020

Randomised trial of chronic supplementation with a nutraceutical mixture in subjects with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Br J Nutr 2020 01;123(2):190-197

Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, IRCCS Neuromed, Pozzilli (IS), Italy.

A mixture of natural ingredients, namely, DHA, phosphatidylcholine, silymarin, choline, curcumin and d-α-tocopherol, was studied in subjects with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Primary endpoints were serum levels of hepatic enzymes, and other parameters of liver function, the metabolic syndrome and inflammation were the secondary endpoints. The coagulation-fibrinolysis balance was also thoroughly investigated, as NAFLD is associated with haemostatic alterations, which might contribute to increased cardiovascular risk of this condition. The present study involved a double-blind, randomised, multicentre controlled trial of two parallel groups. Subjects with NAFLD (18-80 years, either sex) received the active or control treatment for 3 months. All assays were performed on a total of 113 subjects before and at the end of supplementation. The hepatic enzymes aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase decreased from 23·2 to 3·7 % after treatment, only the AST levels reaching statistical significance. However, no differences were found between control and active groups. Metabolic and inflammatory variables were unchanged, except for a slight (less than 10 %) increase in cholesterol and glucose levels after the active treatment. Coagulation-fibrinolytic parameters were unaffected by either treatment. In conclusion, chronic supplementation with the mixture of dietary compounds was well tolerated and apparently safe in NAFLD subjects. The trial failed to demonstrate any efficacy on relevant physiopathological markers, but its protocol and results may be useful to design future studies with natural compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114519002484DOI Listing
January 2020

Low D-dimer levels in sepsis: Good or bad?

Thromb Res 2019 02 5;174:13-15. Epub 2018 Dec 5.

Dipartimento di Scienze e Biomediche ed Oncologia Umana, Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2018.12.003DOI Listing
February 2019

Platelet Drop and Fibrinolytic Shutdown in Patients With Sepsis.

Crit Care Med 2018 03;46(3):e221-e228

Department of Anesthesiology, Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine, University of Göttingen, Germany.

Objective: Thrombocytopenia is the most common hemostatic disorder during sepsis and is associated with high mortality. We examined whether fibrinolytic changes precede incident thrombocytopenia and predict outcome in patients with severe sepsis.

Design: Nested study from the multicenter, randomized, controlled trial on the efficacy of albumin replacement in severe sepsis or septic shock (the Albumin Italian Outcome Sepsis trial).

Setting: Forty ICUs in Italy.

Patients: Three groups of patients were selected: 1) patients with platelet count less than or equal to 50 × 10/L at study entry (n = 85); 2) patients with baseline platelet count greater than or equal to 100 × 10/L who developed thrombocytopenia (≤ 50 × 10/L) within 28 days (n = 100); 3) patients with platelet count always more than or equal to 100 × 10/L (n = 95).

Interventions: Fibrinolytic variables, including fibrinolysis inhibitors and in vivo markers of plasmin generation, were measured on day 1.

Measurements And Main Results: Patients with early thrombocytopenia (group 1) and those who developed it later (group 2) had similar illness severity and 90-day mortality, whereas patients without thrombocytopenia (group 3) had milder disease and lower mortality. Fibrinolysis was markedly (and similarly) depressed in groups 1 and 2 as compared with group 3. Major fibrinolytic changes included increased levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 and extensive activation/consumption of thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor. Most fibrinolytic variables were significantly associated with mortality in univariate models. However, only thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor level and in vivo markers of fibrinolysis activation, namely plasmin-antiplasmin complex, and D-dimer, were independently associated with mortality after adjustment for Simplified Acute Physiology Score-II score, sex, and platelet count. Furthermore, the coexistence of impaired fibrinolysis and low platelets was associated with an even greater mortality.

Conclusions: Impaired fibrinolysis, mainly driven by plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 increase and thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor activation, is an early manifestation of sepsis and may precede the development of thrombocytopenia. Thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor level, in particular, proved to be an independent predictor of mortality, which may improve risk stratification of patients with severe sepsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CCM.0000000000002919DOI Listing
March 2018

Grape intake reduces thrombin generation and enhances plasma fibrinolysis. Potential role of circulating procoagulant microparticles.

J Nutr Biochem 2017 12 1;50:66-73. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Section of General and Experimental Pathology, University of Bari "Aldo Moro", Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

Phytochemicals contained in grapes down-regulate several prothrombotic pathways in vitro. We evaluated the effect of grape consumption on coagulation and fibrinolysis in healthy volunteers. Thirty subjects were enrolled: 20 were given grape (5 g/kg body weight/day for 3 weeks), while 10 served as controls. Blood samples were taken at baseline (T0), at the end of the grape diet (T1) and after 4-week wash-out (T2). Grape intake caused a significant decrease of the procoagulant and inflammatory responses of whole blood and/or mononuclear cells to bacterial lipopolysaccharide at both T1 and T2. At plasma level, grape diet decreased thrombin generation at T1 and T2, largely through a reduction in the number and/or activity of procoagulant microparticles. This anticoagulant effect resulted in the formation of clots that were more susceptible to fibrinolysis, mainly because of a lesser activation of thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor. No difference in any variables was detected in controls at the time points considered. In conclusion, chronic grape consumption induces sustained anticoagulant and profibrinolytic effects with potential benefits for human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.08.012DOI Listing
December 2017

Histones Differentially Modulate the Anticoagulant and Profibrinolytic Activities of Heparin, Heparin Derivatives, and Dabigatran.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2016 Feb 17;356(2):305-13. Epub 2015 Nov 17.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Section of General and Experimental Pathology (C.T.A., N.S., M.C., F.S.), and Section of Pharmacology (M.R.C), University of Bari "Aldo Moro," Bari, Italy

The antithrombin activity of unfractionated heparin (UFH) is offset by extracellular histones, which, along with DNA, represent a novel mediator of thrombosis and a structural component of thrombi. Here, we systematically evaluated the effect of histones, DNA, and histone-DNA complexes on the anticoagulant and profibrinolytic activities of UFH, its derivatives enoxaparin and fondaparinux, and the direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran. Thrombin generation was assessed by calibrated automated thrombinography, inhibition of factor Xa and thrombin by synthetic substrates, tissue plasminogen activator-mediated clot lysis by turbidimetry, and thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) activation by a functional assay. Histones alone delayed coagulation and slightly stimulated fibrinolysis. The anticoagulant activity of UFH and enoxaparin was markedly inhibited by histones, whereas that of fondaparinux was enhanced. Histones neutralized both the anti-Xa and anti-IIa activities of UFH and preferentially blocked the anti-IIa activity of enoxaparin. The anti-Xa activity of fondaparinux was not influenced by histones when analyzed by chromogenic substrates, but was potentiated in a plasma prothrombinase assay. Histones inhibited the profibrinolytic activity of UFH and enoxaparin and enhanced that of fondaparinux by acting on the modulation of TAFI activation by anticoagulants. Histone H1 was mainly responsible for these effects. Histone-DNA complexes, as well as intact neutrophil extracellular traps, impaired the activities of UFH, enoxaparin, and fondaparinux. Dabigatran was not noticeably affected by histones and/or DNA, whatever the assay performed. In conclusion, histones and DNA present in the forming clot may variably influence the antithrombotic activities of anticoagulants, suggesting a potential therapeutic advantage of dabigatran and fondaparinux over heparins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.115.229823DOI Listing
February 2016

Coagulopathy of Acute Sepsis.

Semin Thromb Hemost 2015 Sep 25;41(6):650-8. Epub 2015 Aug 25.

Section of Experimental and Clinical Pathology, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

Coagulopathy is common in acute sepsis and may range from subclinical activation of blood coagulation (hypercoagulability), which may contribute to venous thromboembolism, to acute disseminated intravascular coagulation, characterized by widespread microvascular thrombosis and consumption of platelets and coagulation proteins, eventually causing bleeding. The key event underlying this life-threatening complication is the overwhelming inflammatory host response to the pathogen leading to the overexpression of inflammatory mediators. The latter, along with the microorganism and its derivatives drive the major changes responsible for massive thrombin formation and fibrin deposition: (1) aberrant expression of tissue factor mainly by monocytes-macrophages, (2) impairment of anticoagulant pathways, orchestrated by dysfunctional endothelial cells (ECs), and (3) suppression of fibrinolysis because of the overproduction of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 by ECs and thrombin-mediated activation of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor. Neutrophils and other cells, upon activation or death, release nuclear materials (neutrophil extracellular traps and/or their components such as histones, DNA, lysosomal enzymes, and High Mobility Group Box-1), which have toxic, proinflammatory and prothrombotic properties thus contributing to clotting dysregulation. The ensuing microvascular thrombosis-ischemia significantly contributes to tissue injury and multiple organ dysfunction syndromes. These insights into the pathogenesis of sepsis-associated coagulopathy may have implications for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0035-1556730DOI Listing
September 2015

A modified prothrombin time to measure the anticoagulant activity of dabigatran.

Thromb Res 2014 Dec 28;134(6):1368-9. Epub 2014 Sep 28.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Section of General and Experimental Pathology, Aldo Moro University of Bari, Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2014.09.027DOI Listing
December 2014

Influence of cell-associated tissue factor concentration on the anticoagulant activity of dabigatran. A possible explanation for the reduced incidence of intracranial bleeding.

Br J Haematol 2015 Mar 4;168(6):911-3. Epub 2014 Oct 4.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Section of General and Experimental Pathology, University Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.13168DOI Listing
March 2015

The paradoxical antifibrinolytic effect of dabigatran and argatroban in the presence of soluble thrombomodulin is unrelated to protein C-dependent increase of thrombin generation.

Thromb Res 2014 Nov 23;134(5):1110-6. Epub 2014 Aug 23.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Section of General and Experimental Pathology, Aldo Moro University, Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Anticoagulants stimulate fibrinolysis in vitro, mainly by inhibiting thrombin-mediated TAFI activation. Surprisingly, however, direct thrombin inhibitors (DTIs) inhibit fibrinolysis and enhance thrombin generation in vitro when tested in the presence of high thrombomodulin (TM) concentrations. Because the paradoxical effect on thrombin generation was shown to be protein C (PC)-dependent, we investigated the role of PC in the antifibrinolytic effect of two DTIs, dabigatran and argatroban.

Methods And Results: In the presence of 10 nM TM, both dabigatran (0.5 μM) and argatroban (1 μM) prolonged clot lysis time and enhanced thrombin generation. This notwithstanding, the DTIs inhibited thrombin-mediated TAFI activation, peak TAFIa activity being reduced by >60%. A specific feature of TAFI activation curve in the presence of DTIs was a much slower disappearance of TAFIa activity, which was likely the cause of fibrinolysis inhibition. The addition of an anti-PC antibody (αPC) nullified the paradoxical effect of DTIs on thrombin generation but influenced neither TAFI activation nor the fibrinolysis time.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that the inhibition of PC activation by DTIs in the presence of TM, while enhancing thrombin generation, has no effect on thrombin-mediated TAFI activation. The inhibition of fibrinolysis by DTIs can be explained by the prolonged activation of TAFI resulting from the sustained release of thrombin from thrombin-DTI complex. While the clinical relevance of these findings needs to be investigated by in vivo studies, our data might help understanding the role of the different players in the regulation of thrombin generation, TAFI activation and fibrinolysis resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2014.08.010DOI Listing
November 2014

Co-administration of low molecular weight heparin enhances the profibrinolytic effect of warfarin through different mechanisms.

Thromb Res 2014 Apr 4;133(4):634-9. Epub 2014 Jan 4.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Aldo Moro University, Bari, Italy.

Background And Objective: Treatment with vitamin K antagonists (VKA) reduces fibrinolytic resistance through the inhibition of thrombin-mediated activation of thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI). Because low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH) is co-administered with VKA during initiation of anticoagulant treatment, we evaluated the effect of dual anticoagulation on fibrinolytic resistance.

Patients And Methods: Two groups of patients were studied: 1) patients on stable warfarin; 2) patients starting oral anticoagulant therapy, who were evaluated during dual anticoagulation and after enoxaparin withdrawal. Only samples with an INR between 2 and 3 were compared. The resistance of clots to t-PA-induced fibrinolysis was evaluated in blood and plasma by thromboelastography (TEG) and turbidimetry, respectively.

Results: In patients on dual anticoagulation, blood fibrinolysis time (TEG) was significantly shorter than in patients on warfarin alone and significantly correlated with LMWH level. The profibrinolytic effect was partly ascribable to a reduction of thrombin-dependent TAFI activation: 1) thrombin and TAFIa generation were significantly reduced by dual anticoagulation; 2) the addition of enoxaparin to warfarin-blood reduced TAFI-mediated fibrinolysis inhibition. Patients on dual anticoagulation also displayed a reduction in clot strength, a phenomenon known to reduce fibrinolytic resistance. The profibrinolytic effect of LMWH co-administration was not seen in plasma, likely because TAFIa generation was below the threshold required to inhibit fibrinolysis.

Conclusions: Co-administration of LMWH in patients under VKA reduces the fibrinolytic resistance of blood clots via TAFI-dependent and TAFI-independent mechanisms. Further studies are warranted to assess the clinical implications of these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2013.12.035DOI Listing
April 2014

Antithrombotic activity of 12 table grape varieties. Relationship with polyphenolic profile.

Food Chem 2013 Oct 10;140(4):647-53. Epub 2012 Nov 10.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Section of General and Experimental Pathology, University of Bari "Aldo Moro", Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy.

The synthesis of tissue factor (TF) by monocytes/macrophages activated by inflammatory agents is of utmost importance in the pathogenesis of thrombotic diseases and substances inhibiting TF synthesis represent novel and promising antithrombotics. We investigated the effect of 12 table grape varieties (white, red and black) on TF synthesis and the possible relation with the phenolic profile. The ability of grape skin extracts (GSEs) to inhibit TF was evaluated in whole blood and isolated mononuclear cells challenged with endotoxin. TF expression was assayed by functional and immunological assays. All GSEs inhibited TF synthesis but with a different efficiency, red grapes being the most active. By correlation analysis, the compounds showing the strongest association with TF-inhibiting activity were quercetin and cyanidin. However, no single polyphenol was able to inhibit TF synthesis as efficiently as the crude grape extracts, unless it was combined with at least another compound, suggesting a synergism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.10.132DOI Listing
October 2013

Skin extracts from 2 Italian table grapes (Italia and Palieri) inhibit tissue factor expression by human blood mononuclear cells.

J Food Sci 2012 Aug;77(8):H154-9

Research Unit for Grape and Wine Growing in the Mediterranean Environment, CRA-UTV Agricultural Research Council, Turi, Bari, Italy.

Unlabelled: Grape and its products such as red wine and grape juice have well-known antithrombotic properties, which have been attributed to their high content in polyphenolic compounds. Most studies on the mechanisms underlying these beneficial effects, among which the suppression of tissue factor (TF) synthesis in blood mononuclear cells (MNC) and vascular endothelium is a prominent one, have been performed with purified polyphenols, while little is known about the effect of fresh grapes which contain a multitude of phytochemicals whose interaction may lead to different cell responses. In this study, we investigated the effect of grape skin extracts (GSEs) on TF expression in isolated blood MNC and in whole blood. Alcoholic extracts from skins of 2 grape varieties (Palieri and Italia) inhibited TF expression in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated MNC in a concentration-dependent manner with ≥90% inhibition of TF activity and antigen at 6 μg/mL of gallic acid equivalents. Noteworthy, GSEs were also able to inhibit the appearance of TF in whole blood challenged with LPS. The 2 grape varieties displayed a fairly similar TF-inhibiting capacity despite marked differences in phenolic profile. When selected purified polyphenols were tested, their ability to inhibit TF expression was markedly lower as compared to grape extracts, whereas a mixture of some representative polyphenols was much more efficient, supporting the occurrence of a synergistic effect. Given the key role of cell TF in thrombotic diseases, the inhibition of MNC-mediated clotting activation, if confirmed by in vivo studies, might represent an important antithrombotic mechanism.

Practical Application: Our data indicate that the combination of different polyphenols, as in grape extracts, is much more efficient than the single constituents, a finding that might be useful as starting point for the development of new antithrombotic nutraceutics. In addition, our study validated a simple, inexpensive, and physiologically relevant in vitro method on whole blood that allows the evaluation of one of the most important antithrombotic activities of food and food-derived products. The simplicity of the method makes it suitable also for screening purposes in large-scale studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2012.02818.xDOI Listing
August 2012

Evidence that fibrinolytic changes in paediatric obesity translate into a hypofibrinolytic state: relative contribution of TAFI and PAI-1.

Thromb Haemost 2012 Aug 28;108(2):311-7. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Oncologia Umana, Sezione di Patologia Generale e Sperimentale, Bari, Italy.

Paediatric obesity, like adulthood obesity, is associated with an increase of fibrinolysis inhibitors. No study, however, has evaluated the impact of these changes on plasma fibrinolytic capacity. We investigated plasma fibrinolysis and the role therein of the fibrinolytic changes associated with obesity in 59 obese children (body mass index > 95th percentile) and 40 matched controls. Fibrinolysis was investigated by measuring 1) the plasma levels of relevant fibrinolytic factors; 2) the in vitro fibrinolytic capacity under different conditions, using a microplate plasma clot lysis assay; 3) the circulating levels of markers of clotting and fibrinolysis activation. Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), total thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) and fibrinogen levels were higher in obese children as compared to controls (p<0.01). Plasma clots from obese children lysed significantly slower than control clots when exposed to exogenous plasminogen activator, indicating a greater resistance to fibrinolysis. By the use of a selective inhibitor of activated TAFI and by regression analyses we found that fibrinolysis resistance in obese samples was attributable to PAI-1 increase and to enhanced TAFI activation. The ratio between the circulating levels of D-dimer and thrombin-antithrombin complex, a marker of in vivo fibrinolysis, was significantly lower in obese children, suggesting a reduced fibrinolytic efficiency. These data indicate that paediatric obesity is associated with a hypofibrinolytic state which might contribute to the increased thrombotic risk associated with this condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1160/TH11-12-0864DOI Listing
August 2012

Thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor: at the nexus of fibrinolysis and inflammation.

Thromb Res 2012 Mar 21;129(3):314-9. Epub 2011 Nov 21.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology – Section of General and Experimental Pathology, University Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

TAFI (thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor) is the precursor of a basic carboxypeptidase (TAFIa) with strong antifibrinolytic and anti-inflammatory activity. Compelling evidence indicates that thrombin, either alone or in complex with thrombomodulin, is the main physiological activator of TAFI. For this reason derangements of thrombin formation, whatever the cause, may influence the fibrinolytic process too. Experimental models of thrombosis suggest that TAFI may participate in thrombus development and persistence under certain circumstances. In several models of pharmacological thrombolysis, the administration of TAFI inhibitors along with the fibrinolytic agent leads to a marked improvement of thrombus lysis, underscoring the potential of TAFI inhibitors as adjuvants for thrombolytic therapy. The role of TAFI in inflammatory diseases is more complex as it may serve as a defense mechanism, exacerbate the disease, or have no influence, depending on the nature of the model and the role played by the mediators controlled by TAFIa. Finally, the numerous clinical studies in patients with thrombotic disease support the idea that increased levels of TAFI and/or the enhancement of TAFI activation may represent a new risk factor for venous and arterial thrombosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2011.10.031DOI Listing
March 2012

Sepsis, thrombosis and organ dysfunction.

Thromb Res 2012 Mar 5;129(3):290-5. Epub 2011 Nov 5.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Section of General, Experimental and Clinical Pathology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Sepsis is often associated with haemostatic changes ranging from subclinical activation of blood coagulation (hypercoagulability), which may contribute to localized venous thromboembolism, to acute disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), characterized by widespread microvascular thrombosis and subsequent consumption of platelets and coagulation proteins, eventually causing bleeding manifestations. The key event underlying this life-threatening complication is the overwhelming inflammatory host response to the infectious agent leading to the overexpression of inflammatory mediators. The latter, along with the micro-organism and its derivatives are now believed to drive the major changes responsible for massive thrombin formation and fibrin deposition, namely 1) the aberrant expression of the TF by different cells (especially monocytes-macrophages), 2) the impairment of physiological anticoagulant pathways, orchestrated mainly by dysfunctional endothelial cells (ECs) and 3) the suppression of fibrinolysis due to overproduction of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) by ECs and likely also to thrombin-mediated activation of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI). The ensuing microvascular thrombosis and ischemia are thought to contribute to tissue injury and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS). Recent evidence indicates that extracellular nuclear materials released from activated and especially apoptotic or necrotic cells, e.g. High Mobility Group Box-1 (HMGB-1) and histones, are endowed with cell toxicity, proinflammatory and clot-promoting properties and thus, during sepsis, they may represent late mediators that propagate further inflammation, coagulation, cell death and MODS. These insights into the pathogenesis of DIC and MODS may have implications for the development of new therapeutic agents potentially useful for the management of severe sepsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2011.10.013DOI Listing
March 2012

Coagulation-fibrinolysis changes during off-pump bypass: effect of two heparin doses.

Ann Thorac Surg 2010 Feb;89(2):421-7

Department of Emergency and Organ Transplant, Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Background: To date, no study has tested the effect of different heparin dosages on the hemostatic changes during off-pump coronary artery bypass graft (OPCABG) surgery, and a wide variety of empirical anticoagulation protocols are being applied. We tested the effect of two different heparin dosages on the activation of the hemostatic system in patients undergoing OPCABG procedures.

Methods: Forty-two patients eligible for OPCABG procedures were assigned in a randomized fashion to low-dose heparin (150 IU/kg) or high-dose heparin (300 IU/kg). Prothrombin fragment 1+2, plasmin/alpha(2)-plasmin inhibitor complex, D-dimer, soluble tissue factor, tissue factor pathway inhibitor, total thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI), and activated TAFIa were assayed by specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays at six different timepoints, before, during, and after surgery. Platelet function was evaluated by means of an in vitro bleeding time test, platelet function analyzer-100.

Results: The OPCABG surgery was accompanied by significant changes of all plasma biomarkers, indicative of systemic activation of coagulation and fibrinolysis. A significant increase in circulating TAFIa was detected perioperatively and postoperatively, and multiple regression analysis indicated that prothrombin F1+2 but not plasmin/alpha(2)-antiplasmin complex was independently associated with TAFIa level. Platelet function analyzer-100 values did not change significantly after OPCABG. All hemostatic changes were similar in the two heparin groups, even perioperatively, when the difference in anticoagulation was maximal.

Conclusions: Both early and late hemostatic changes, including TAFI activation, are similarly affected in the low-dose and high-dose heparin groups, suggesting that the increase in heparin dosage is not accompanied by a better control of clotting activation during OPCABG surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2009.10.041DOI Listing
February 2010

Sepsis-associated disseminated intravascular coagulation and thromboembolic disease.

Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis 2010 Aug 13;2(3):e2010024. Epub 2010 Aug 13.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Section of General and Experimental Pathology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Sepsis is almost invariably associated with haemostatic abnormalities ranging from subclinical activation of blood coagulation (hypercoagulability), which may contribute to localized venous thromboembolism, to acute disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), characterized by massive thrombin formation and widespread microvascular thrombosis, partly responsible of the multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS), and subsequent consumption of platelets and coagulation proteins causing, in most severe cases, bleeding manifestations. There is general agreement that the key event underlying this life-threatening sepsis complication is the overwhelming inflammatory host response to the infectious agent leading to the overexpression of inflammatory mediators. Mechanistically, the latter, together with the micro-organism and its derivatives, causes DIC by 1) up-regulation of procoagulant molecules, primarily tissue factor (TF), which is produced mainly by stimulated monocytes-macrophages and by specific cells in target tissues; 2) impairment of physiological anticoagulant pathways (antithrombin, protein C pathway, tissue factor pathway inhibitor), which is orchestrated mainly by dysfunctional endothelial cells (ECs); and 3) suppression of fibrinolysis due to increased plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) by ECs and likely also to thrombin-mediated activation of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI). Notably, clotting enzymes non only lead to microvascular thrombosis but can also elicit cellular responses that amplify the inflammatory reactions. Inflammatory mediators can also cause, directly or indirectly, cell apoptosis or necrosis and recent evidence indicates that products released from dead cells, such as nuclear proteins (particularly extracellular histones), are able to propagate further inflammation, coagulation, cell death and MODS. These insights into the pathogenetic mechanisms of DIC and MODS may have important implications for the development of new therapeutic agents that could be potentially useful particularly for the management of severe sepsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4084/MJHID.2010.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3033145PMC
August 2010

Tissue factor-expressing monocytes inhibit fibrinolysis through a TAFI-mediated mechanism, and make clots resistant to heparins.

Haematologica 2009 Jun 18;94(6):819-26. Epub 2009 Apr 18.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Section of General and Experimental Pathology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Background: Thrombin is the main activator of the fibrinolysis inhibitor TAFI (thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor) and heightened clotting activation is believed to impair fibrinolysis through the increase of thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor activation. However, the enhancement of thrombin generation by soluble tissue factor was reported to have no effect on plasma fibrinolysis and it is not known whether the same is true for cell-associated tissue factor. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of tissue factor-expressing monocytes on plasma fibrinolysis in vitro.

Design And Methods: Tissue factor expression by human blood mononuclear cells (MNC) and monocytes was induced by LPS stimulation. Fibrinolysis was spectrophotometrically evaluated by measuring the lysis time of plasma clots containing LPS-stimulated or control cells and a low concentration of exogenous tissue plasminogen activator.

Results: LPS-stimulated MNC (LPS-MNC) prolonged fibrinolysis time as compared to unstimulated MNC (C-MNC) in contact-inhibited but not in normal citrated plasma. A significantly prolonged lysis time was observed using as few as 30 activated cells/microL. Fibrinolysis was also impaired when clots were generated on adherent LPS-stimulated monocytes. The antifibrinolytic effect of LPS-MNC or LPS-monocytes was abolished by an anti-tissue factor antibody, by an antibody preventing thrombin-mediated thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor activation, and by a TAFIa inhibitor (PTCI). Assays of thrombin and TAFIa in contact-inhibited plasma confirmed the greater generation of these enzymes in the presence of LPS-MNC. Finally, the profibrinolytic effect of unfractionated heparin and enoxaparin was markedly lower (approximately 50%) in the presence of LPS-MNC than in the presence of a thromboplastin preparation displaying an identical tissue factor activity.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that LPS-stimulated monocytes inhibit fibrinolysis through a tissue factor-mediated enhancement of thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor activation and make clots resistant to the profibrinolytic activity of heparins, thus providing an additional mechanism whereby tissue factor-expressing monocytes/macrophages may favor fibrin accumulation and diminish the antithrombotic efficacy of heparins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2008.000042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2688573PMC
June 2009

Ochratoxin A inhibits the production of tissue factor and plasminogen activator inhibitor-2 by human blood mononuclear cells: another potential mechanism of immune-suppression.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2008 Jun 26;229(2):227-31. Epub 2008 Jan 26.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Section of General and Experimental Pathology, University of Bari, Policlinico, Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy.

The mycotoxin ochratoxin A (OTA), an ubiquitous contaminant of food products endowed with a wide spectrum of toxicity, affects several functions of mononuclear leukocytes. Monocytes/macrophages play a major role in fibrin accumulation associated with immune-inflammatory processes through the production of tissue factor (TF) and plasminogen activator inhibitor 2 (PAI-2). We studied the effect of OTA on TF and PAI-2 production by human blood mononuclear cells (MNC). The cells were incubated for 3 or 18 h at 37 degrees C with non toxic OTA concentrations in the absence and in the presence of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or other inflammatory agents. TF activity was measured by a one-stage clotting test. Antigen assays were performed by specific ELISAs in cell extracts or conditioned media and specific mRNAs were assessed by RT-PCR. OTA had no direct effect on TF and PAI-2 production by MNC. However, OTA caused a dose-dependent reduction in LPS-induced TF (activity, antigen and mRNA) and PAI-2 (antigen and mRNA) production with >85% inhibition at 1 mug/ml. Similar results were obtained when monocyte-enriched preparations were used instead of MNC. TF production was also impaired by OTA (1 mug/ml) when MNC were stimulated with phorbol myristate acetate (98% inhibition), IL-1beta (83%) or TNF-alpha (62%). The inhibition of TF and PAI-2 induction might represent a hitherto unrecognized mechanism whereby OTA exerts immunosuppressant activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2008.01.004DOI Listing
June 2008

TAFI deficiency in liver cirrhosis: relation with plasma fibrinolysis and survival.

Thromb Res 2008 29;121(6):763-8. Epub 2007 Oct 29.

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Internal and Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Perugia, Via E. Dal Pozzo, 06126 Perugia, Italy.

Introduction: TAFI (thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor) is a potent anti-fibrinolytic and anti-inflammatory factor of liver origin. It is markedly reduced in liver cirrhosis but its effect on fibrinolysis remains controversial and no data are available on its prognostic value. We evaluated the relationship of TAFI level with plasma fibrinolysis and survival in cirrhotic patients.

Patients And Methods: Sixty-five patients with liver cirrhosis were studied. TAFI antigen, plasma fibrinolysis and other laboratory variables were assayed at study entry and their association with mortality was assessed during a 3-year follow-up.

Results: TAFI level and fibrinolysis time were markedly reduced in liver cirrhosis as compared to healthy subjects (p<0.0001) and TAFI deficiency was strongly correlated with fibrinolysis time (p=0.0002). TAFI level at entry, but not fibrinolysis time, was significantly lower in non-survivors (n=25) than in survivors (n=40, p=0.0001). By Cox regression analysis, after adjustment for possible confounding factors, TAFI, but not fibrinolysis time, was identified as an independent predictor of mortality. TAFI assay, moreover, showed a clinically relevant accuracy in assessing patients' survival (ROC curve analysis, p<0.0001) achieving a sensitivity of 92%, a specificity of 55%, and a negative predictive value of 91.7%.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that TAFI deficiency in liver cirrhosis is associated with enhanced plasma fibrinolysis. Moreover, they suggest that TAFI, but not fibrinolysis time, is a strong predictor of survival and thus TAFI assay might prove useful to select candidates for liver transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2007.08.011DOI Listing
October 2008

Hyperprothrombinaemia-induced APC resistance: differential influence on fibrin formation and fibrinolysis.

Thromb Haemost 2006 Apr;95(4):606-11

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Section of General Pathology, University of Bari, Italy.

The prothrombin gene mutation G20210A is a common risk factor for thrombosis and has been reported to cause APC resistance. However, the inhibition of thrombin formation by APC not only limits fibrin formation but also stimulates fibrinolysis by reducing TAFI activation. We evaluated the influence of prothrombin G20210A mutation on the anticoagulant and fibrinolytic activities of APC (1 microg/ml). Thirty-two heterozygous carriers and 32 non carriers were studied. APC anticoagulant activity was assessed by aPTT prolongation whereas APC fibrinolytic activity was determined by a microplate clot lysis assay. APC-induced aPTT prolongation was markedly less pronounced in carriers than in non carriers. On the contrary, fibrinolysis time was shortened by APC to a comparable extent in both groups. Accordingly, prothrombin levels were strongly correlated with APC-induced aPTT prolongation but not with APC-induced shortening of lysis time. The addition of purified prothrombin to normal plasma (final concentration 150%) caused APC resistance in the clotting assay over the whole range of tested APC concentrations (0.125-1.5 microg/ml). In the fibrinolytic assay, instead, prothrombin supplementation made the sample resistant to low but not to high concentrations of APC (>0.5 microg/ml). Thrombin and TAFIa determination in the presence of 1 microg/ml APC revealed that hyperprothrombinemia, although capable of enhancing thrombin generation, was unable to induce detectable TAFIa formation. It is suggested that APC resistance caused by hyperprothrombinaemia does not translate in impaired fibrinolysis, at least in the presence of high APC levels, because the increase in thrombin formation is insufficient to activate the amount of TAFI required to inhibit plasminogen conversion. These data might help to better understand the relationship between thrombin formation and fibrinolysis down-regulation.
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April 2006

An antifibrinolytic effect associated with an anti-factor V antibody in a patient with severe thrombophilia.

Haematologica 2003 Dec;88(12):1383-9

Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Bari, Italy.

Background And Objectives: The case of a patient with thrombotic manifestations and severe activated protein C resistance due to an anti-factor V antibody has recently been described. Since activated protein C (APC) is also profibrinolytic we wanted to determine whether the presence of antibodies interfering with the anticoagulant activity of APC also inhibits its profibrinolytic effect.

Design And Methods: Plasma clots were formed in the presence of tissue plasminogen activator, thrombin, phospholipids, Ca++, and various concentrations of APC, and the rate of lysis was monitored over time by the reduction in turbidity. Generation of endogenous thrombin and activation of thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) were also determined during fibrinolysis by clotting and spectrophotometric assays, respectively.

Results: Addition of APC to the patient's plasma failed to stimulate fibrinolysis even at a concentration 4 times higher than that needed to produce the maximal effect in control plasma. Removal of IgG from the patient's plasma fully restored the fibrinolytic response to APC. Accordingly, addition of the patient's IgG to control plasma caused a concentration-dependent inhibition of APC-dependent fibrinolysis. The patient's IgG did not, however, inhibit the profibrinolytic effect of heparin. Determination of thrombin and activated TAFI generation during clot lysis showed that APC inhibited the generation of these enzymes by less than 20% in plasma supplemented with the patient's IgG as opposed to >80% in a control sample.

Interpretation And Conclusions: Our data suggest that the anti-factor V antibody inhibits fibrinolysis by antagonizing the anticoagulant effect of APC thereby favoring thrombin generation and TAFI activation. Impaired fibrinolysis may represent an additional mechanism contributing to thrombosis in patients with severe APC resistance phenotype.
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December 2003

Hyperprothrombinemia associated with prothrombin G20210A mutation inhibits plasma fibrinolysis through a TAFI-mediated mechanism.

Blood 2004 Mar 20;103(6):2157-61. Epub 2003 Nov 20.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Section of General Pathology, University of Bari, Italy.

The prothrombin gene mutation G20210A is a common risk factor for thrombosis and is associated with increased prothrombin levels. However, the mechanism whereby hyperprothrombinemia predisposes to thrombosis remains unclear. Because thrombin is the physiologic activator of TAFI (thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor), the precursor of an antifibrinolytic carboxypeptidase (TAFIa), we evaluated the influence of hyperprothrombinemia on fibrinolysis. Thirty-two heterozygous carriers of the G20210A mutation and 30 noncarriers were studied. Plasma fibrinolytic factors and TAFI levels were similar in the 2 groups. Mean lysis time of tissue factor-induced plasma clots exposed to 25 ng/mL exogenous tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) was significantly longer in 20210A carriers than in control donors. This difference disappeared on addition of a specific inhibitor of TAFIa. Determination of thrombin and TAFIa activity, generated during clot lysis, revealed that G20210A mutation was associated with a significant enhancement of late thrombin formation and an increase in TAFI activation. Plasma prothrombin level was highly significantly correlated with both clot lysis time and TAFI activation. The addition of purified prothrombin, but not of factors X or VIIa, to normal plasma caused a concentration-dependent, TAFI-mediated inhibition of fibrinolysis. These findings provide a new mechanism that might contribute to the thrombotic risk in prothrombin 20210A carriers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2003-06-2169DOI Listing
March 2004

Deficiency of thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor in cirrhosis is associated with increased plasma fibrinolysis.

Hepatology 2003 Jul;38(1):230-7

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Section of General Pathology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Hyperfibrinolysis is thought to contribute to bleeding associated with advanced cirrhosis. Thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) is a plasma precursor of a carboxypeptidase (TAFIa) with antifibrinolytic activity and was recently shown to be reduced in cirrhosis. In this study, we evaluated the influence of TAFI deficiency on in vitro fibrinolysis in cirrhotic patients. Fifty-three patients with cirrhosis and 43 healthy controls were studied. TAFI antigen was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and TAFI activity by chromogenic assay. Fibrinolysis was evaluated as tissue plasminogen activator-induced plasma clot lysis time in the absence and in the presence of a specific inhibitor of TAFIa. TAFI antigen and activity levels were markedly reduced in cirrhotic patients (P <.0001). In these patients, the lysis time of plasma clots was shorter than in controls (median, interquartile range: 25 minutes, 21-36 minutes vs. 48 minutes, 40-60 minutes, respectively; P <.0001) and was poorly influenced by the TAFIa inhibitor. Accordingly, TAFIa and thrombin activity, generated in cirrhotic samples during clot lysis, were significantly lower than in control samples. Addition of purified TAFI to cirrhotic plasma prolonged the lysis time and enhanced the response to TAFIa inhibitor in a dose-dependent manner. In conclusion, our results indicate that in vitro plasma hyperfibrinolysis in cirrhosis is largely due to a defective TAFIa generation resulting from low TAFI levels and probably from impaired thrombin generation. Impairment of the antifibrinolytic TAFI pathway might contribute to bleeding associated with this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/jhep.2003.50277DOI Listing
July 2003

Effect of heparin on TAFI-dependent inhibition of fibrinolysis: relative importance of TAFIa generated by clot-bound and fluid phase thrombin.

Thromb Haemost 2002 Aug;88(2):282-7

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Section of General Pathology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Heparin has been proposed to enhance thrombolysis by inhibiting thrombin-dependent generation of activated TAFI (thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor), a carboxypeptidase that inhibits fibrinolysis. We evaluated the effect of heparin in an in vitro thrombolysis model consisting of a radiolabelled blood clot submerged in defibrinated plasma. Fibrinolysis was induced by adding t-PA (250 ng/ml) and calcium to the plasma bath. Control experiments indicated that thrombin generation induced by recalcification caused significant TAFI activation and inhibited clot lysis. Heparin (up to 1 U/ml), added to the plasma bath, failed to enhance clot lysis. Thrombin generation in the fluid phase was totally inhibited by heparin at concentrations > 0.5 U/ml. In contrast, thrombin generation on the clot surface was not inhibited by heparin (1 U/ml). TAFIa generation did occur in heparin-containing samples (1 U/ml) and amounted to about 10% of TAFIa formed in control samples. This low amount of TAFIa did exert antifibrinolytic activity as indicated by the observation that the addition of a specific TAFIa inhibitor (PTI) along with heparin enhanced clot lysis. Hirudin (10 micrograms/ml), at variance with heparin, inhibited clot-bound thrombin and enhanced clot lysis. These data show that heparin is unable to stimulate fibrinolysis through a TAFI-dependent mechanism, most likely because of its inefficiency in inhibiting thrombin generation on the clot surface. Moreover, they suggest that clot-bound thrombin plays a major role in TAFI-mediated inhibition of fibrinolysis through "localized" TAFIa generation.
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August 2002
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