Factor XII, kininogen and plasma prekallikrein in abnormal pregnancies

Curr Drug Targets. 2005 Aug;6(5):551-7. doi: 10.2174/1389450054546060.


Factor XII, plasma prekallikrein and high molecular weight kininogen were first identified as coagulation proteins in the intrinsic pathway because patients deficient in these proteins had marked prolongation of in vitro surface-activated coagulation time. However, deficiencies of these proteins are not associated with clinical bleeding. Paradoxically, studies suggest that these proteins have anticoagulant and profibrinolytic activities. In fact, association between deficiencies of these proteins and thrombosis has been reported. Also, deficiencies of these proteins, auto-antibodies to these proteins and anti-phospholipid antibodies are frequent hemostatis-related abnormalities found in unexplained recurrent aborters. Recently, evidence has accumulated for the presence of the kallikrein-kininogen-kinin system in the fetoplacental unit. Since contact proteins or kallikrein-kininogen-kinin system may play an important role in pregnancy especially in the fetoplacental unit, deficiencies of these proteins and/or auto-antibodies to these proteins may be associated with pregnancy losses. These possibilities will be reviewed, the functions of the individual components will be summarized, and their role in blood coagulation and pregnancy discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Factor XII / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kininogen, High-Molecular-Weight / physiology
  • Kininogens / physiology*
  • Plasma Kallikrein / physiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Hematologic / therapy
  • Prekallikrein / physiology*


  • Kininogen, High-Molecular-Weight
  • Kininogens
  • Factor XII
  • Prekallikrein
  • Plasma Kallikrein