Contribution of protein Z and protein Z-dependent protease inhibitor in generalized Shwartzman reaction

Crit Care Med. 2013 Dec;41(12):e447-56. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e318298a562.


Objective: Sepsis, a leading cause of mortality in critically ill patients, is closely linked to the excessive activation of coagulation and inflammation. Protein Z, a cofactor for the protein Z-dependent protease inhibitor, enhances the inhibition of coagulation factor Xa, and protein Z-dependent protease inhibitor inhibits factor XIa in a protein Z-independent fashion. The functions of protein Z and protein Z-dependent protease inhibitor in the inflammatory and coagulant responses to septic illness have not been evaluated.

Design: For induction of generalized Shwartzman reaction, dorsal skinfold chamber-equipped mice were challenged twice with lipopolysaccharide (0.05 mg/kg on day -1 and 5 mg/kg body weight 24 hr later). Time-matched control animals received equal volumes of saline.

Setting: University research laboratory.

Subjects, interventions, and measurements: Using intravital fluorescence microscopy in protein Z-dependent protease inhibitor deficient (ZPI) and protein Z deficient (PZ) mice, as well as their wild-type littermates (ZPI, PZ), kinetics of light/dye-induced thrombus formation and microhemodynamics were assessed in randomly chosen venules. Plasma concentrations of chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1, interleukin-6, and interleukin-10 were measured. Liver and lung were harvested for quantitative analysis of leukocytic tissue infiltration and thrombus formation.

Main results: After induction of generalized Shwartzman reaction, all mice showed significant impairment of microhemodynamics, including blood flow velocity, volumetric blood flow, and functional capillary density, as well as leukocytopenia and thrombocytopenia. Thrombus formation time was markedly prolonged after induction of generalized Shwartzman reaction in all mice, except of ZPI mice, which also had a significantly higher fraction of occluded vessels in liver sections. PZ mice developed the highest concentrations of interleukin-6 and interleukin-10 in response to generalized Shwartzman reaction and showed greater leukocytic tissue infiltration than their wild-type littermates.

Conclusions: In this murine model of generalized Shwartzman reaction, protein Z-dependent protease inhibitor deficiency enhanced the thrombotic response to vascular injury, whereas protein Z deficiency increased inflammatory response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Blood Proteins / genetics
  • Blood Proteins / physiology*
  • Chemokine CXCL1 / blood
  • Genotype
  • Interleukin-1 / blood
  • Interleukin-10 / blood
  • Leukopenia / blood
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Liver / pathology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Serpins / genetics
  • Serpins / physiology*
  • Shwartzman Phenomenon / blood
  • Shwartzman Phenomenon / chemically induced
  • Shwartzman Phenomenon / physiopathology*
  • Thrombocytopenia / blood
  • Thrombosis / blood
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Venules / physiology


  • Blood Proteins
  • Chemokine CXCL1
  • Interleukin-1
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Serpina10 protein, mouse
  • Serpins
  • plasma protein Z
  • Interleukin-10