Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Promotion of the crosslinking of fibrin and alpha 2-antiplasmin by platelets.

Factor XIII (FXIII) is of high importance in the regulation of fibrinolysis. It crosslinks alpha 2-antiplasmin (alpha 2AP) and fibrin and by this way protects fibrin from the prompt elimination by plasmin. Although FXIII of platelets has been implicated in this protective mechanism, the role of platelets and platelet FXIII in the crosslinking process is far from being elucidated. As demonstrated by SDS PAGE and by immunoblotting for alpha 2AP, intact normal platelets resuspended in FXIII-free plasma or FXIII-free fibrinogen solution catalyzed the crosslinking of fibrin chains and also the crosslinking of alpha 2AP to fibrin alpha-chains. With FXIII-deficient platelets no crosslinking reaction could be observed indicating that the crosslinking with normal platelets was, indeed, due to platelet FXIII and not to another, putative platelet transglutaminase. However, the crosslinking of alpha 2AP to fibrin induced by the FXIII of intact platelets resuspended in FXIII-free plasma was considerably less extensive than the crosslinking carried out by the FXIII of normal plasma in the presence of FXIII-free platelets. Furthermore, the replacement of FXIII-free platelets by normal platelets in normal FXIII-containing plasma resulted in little, if any, difference in the crosslinking process. When crosslinking was induced by highly purified plasma FXIII the presence of intact FXIII-free platelets significantly accelerated the formation of alpha-chain polymers as well as the incorporation of alpha 2AP-fibrin alpha-chain hetero-dimer into these polymers. The results indicate that, in physiological conditions, platelet FXIII plays only a minor role in the crosslinking of alpha 2AP and fibrin; however, platelets, independently of their FXIII content, promote the crosslinking reaction by providing a catalytic surface on which the formation of highly crosslinked fibrin polymers is accelerated.

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