Blood coagulation is triggered not only by surface tissue factor (TF) density but also by surface TF distribution. We investigated recognition of surface TF distribution patterns during blood coagulation and identified the underlying molecular mechanisms. For these investigations, we employed 1), an in vitro reaction-diffusion experimental model of coagulation; and 2), numerical simulations using a mathematical model of coagulation in a three-dimensional space. When TF was uniformly immobilized over the activating surface, the clotting initiation time in normal plasma increased from 4 min to >120 min, with a decrease in TF density from 100 to 0.7 pmol/m(2). In contrast, surface-immobilized fibroblasts initiated clotting within 3-7 min, independently of fibroblast quantity and despite a change in average surface TF density from 0.5 to 130 pmol/m(2). Experiments using factor V-, VII-, and VIII-deficient plasma and computer simulations demonstrated that different responses to these two TF distributions are caused by two positive feedback loops in the blood coagulation network: activation of the TF-VII complex by factor Xa, and activation of factor V by thrombin. This finding suggests a new role for these reactions: to supply sensitivity to local TF density during blood coagulation.
Copyright © 2011 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.