Warfarin-induced accumulation of vitamin K-dependent proteins. Comparison between hepatic and non-hepatic tissues

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1983 Aug 12;114(3):991-7. doi: 10.1016/0006-291x(83)90658-7.


At high concentrations (7.5 mg/kg body weight), coumarin derivatives inhibit the vitamin K-dependent carboxylation reaction in hepatic as well as in non-hepatic tissues. Therapeutically this anti-vitamin K drug is frequently used in 100-fold lower dosages. Under these conditions the production of the vitamin K-dependent clotting factors in the liver is only partially inhibited. Using the rat as an experimental animal, we could demonstrate, that during a daily intake of these low amounts of warfarin, endogenous substrates for vitamin K-dependent carboxylase accumulate in the lung, spleen and testis in a similar way as they do in liver. Therefore it seems that in vivo the carboxylating enzyme systems in all these tissues are inhibited. It seems plausible, that this effect of warfarin is not restricted to rats, but that it will also occur in patients under anticoagulant therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Coagulation Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Carboxy-Lyases / metabolism*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Lung / enzymology
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Spleen / enzymology
  • Testis / enzymology
  • Vitamin K / metabolism*
  • Warfarin / pharmacology*


  • Blood Coagulation Factors
  • Vitamin K
  • Warfarin
  • Carboxy-Lyases