Assessment of the relative contribution of different protease inhibitors to the inhibition of plasmin in vivo

Thromb Haemost. 1993 Feb 1;69(2):141-6.


It has been shown that the most important inhibitor of plasmin is alpha 2-antiplasmin, however, other protease inhibitors are able to inhibit this proteolytic enzyme as well. The contribution of the various protease inhibitors to the inhibition of plasmin in vivo has never been quantitatively assessed. To assess the relative contribution of the different protease inhibitors on the inhibition of plasmin we developed a series of sensitive immunoassays for the detection of complexes between plasmin and the protease inhibitors alpha 2-antiplasmin, alpha 2-macroglobulin, antithrombin III, alpha 1-antitrypsin and C1-inhibitor, utilizing monoclonal antibodies that are specifically directed against complexed protease inhibitors and a monoclonal antibody against plasmin. It was confirmed that alpha 2-antiplasmin is the most important inhibitor of plasmin in vivo, however, complexes of plasmin with alpha 2-macroglobulin, antithrombin III, alpha 1-antitrypsin- and C1-inhibitor were also detected. Particularly during activation of fibrinolysis complexes between plasmin and inhibitors other than alpha 2-antiplasmin were detected. It was observed that during different situations the inhibition profile of plasmin was not constant e.g. in patients with diffuse intravascular coagulation plasma levels of plasmin-alpha 1-antitrypsin and plasmin-C1-inhibitor were increased whereas in plasma from patients who were treated with thrombolytic agents complexes of plasmin with alpha 2-macroglobulin and with antithrombin III were significantly elevated. In conclusion, we confirmed the important role of alpha 2-antiplasmin in the inhibition of plasmin, however, in situations in which fibrinolysis is activated other protease inhibitors also account for the inhibition of plasmin in vivo.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antithrombin III / metabolism
  • Complement C1 Inactivator Proteins / metabolism
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin / pharmacology
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation / blood
  • Fibrinolysin / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Fibrinolysin / metabolism
  • Fibrinolysis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Protease Inhibitors / blood*
  • Radioimmunoassay / methods
  • Radioimmunoassay / statistics & numerical data
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • alpha-Macroglobulins / metabolism


  • Complement C1 Inactivator Proteins
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • alpha-Macroglobulins
  • Antithrombin III
  • Fibrinolysin
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin