The rabbit as an animal model for the activated factor X-antithrombin III-heparin reaction

Circ Res. 1977 Aug;41(2):187-91. doi: 10.1161/01.res.41.2.187.


When activated factor X (Xa) inhibitory activity of serially diluted human and rabbit plasma is determined in a low salt assay, a lineare plot is obtained for human, but not for rabbit plasma. When a high salt assay is used, the dilution curves for both human and rabbit plasma are linear, and qualititive as well as quantitative differences are essentially eliminated. On Sephadex G-200 chromatography Xa inhibitory activity of human and rabbit plasma appears in two peaks. With the low salt assay the first and second peaks for human plasma contain respectively 30%, and 70% of the activity; whereas with rabbit plasma these values are greater than 95% and less than 5% of the activity. With the high salt assay the figures for human plasma are less than 5% and greater than 95%, and with rabbit plasma 65 +/- 3% and 35 +/- 3%, respectively. With the high salt system, rabbit plasma shows a continuous increase in Xa inhibitory activity with increasing heparin concentrations, similar to that obtained with human plasma. In the high salt system the relative contributions of antithrombin III to Xa neutralization in human and rabbit plasma are different. However, in experiments in which Xa inhibitory activity of antithrombin III is altered by heparin, a simple formula, Total activity (%) = 65% + 0.35 x human plasma (%), permits translation of rabbit data on the Xa-antithrombin III-heparin reaction to man. On the basis of these findings, the rabbit model can effectively be used to study the Xa-antithrombin III reaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antithrombins / analysis*
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Factor X / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Heparin*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Rabbits*
  • Sodium Chloride


  • Antithrombins
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Factor X
  • Heparin