Introduction: The thrombin mutant W215A/E217A (WE thrombin) has greatly reduced procoagulant activity, but it activates protein C in the presence of thrombomodulin and inhibits binding of platelet glycoprotein Ib to von Willebrand factor and collagen under flow conditions. Both thrombomodulin-dependent protein C activation and inhibition of platelet adhesion could contribute to the antithrombotic activity of WE thrombin.
Materials and methods: To assess the role of thrombomodulin, we administered WE thrombin to thrombomodulin-deficient (TM(Pro/Pro)) mice and measured the time to occlusive thrombus formation in the carotid artery after photochemical injury of the endothelium.
Results and conclusions: Doses of WE thrombin ≥10μg/kg prolonged the thrombosis time of wild-type mice (>1.6-fold), while doses ≥100μg/kg only slightly prolonged the thrombosis time of TM(Pro/Pro) mice. We conclude that thrombomodulin plays a predominate role in mediating the antithrombotic effect of WE thrombin in the arterial circulation of mice after endothelial injury. Thrombomodulin-independent effects may occur only when high doses of WE thrombin are administered.
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