Blood-borne tissue factor: Another view of thrombosis

Peter L.A. Giesen, Ursula Rauch, Bernd Bohrmann, Dorothee Kling, Merce Roqué, John T. Fallon, Juan J. Badimon, Jacques Himber, Markus A. Riederer, Yale Nemerson

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922 Scopus citations


Arterial thrombosis is considered to arise from the interaction of tissue factor (TF) in the vascular wall with platelets and coagulation factors in circulating blood. According to this paradigm, coagulation is initiated after a vessel is damaged and blood is exposed to vessel-wall TF. We have examined thrombus formation on pig arterial media (which contains no stainable TF) and on collagen-coated glass slides (which are devoid of TF) exposed to flowing native human blood. In both systems the thrombi that formed during a 5-min perfusion stained intensely for TF, much of which was not associated with cells. Antibodies against TF caused ≃70% reduction in the amount of thrombus formed on the pig arterial media and also reduced thrombi on the collagen-coated glass slides. TF deposited on the slides was active, as there was abundant fibrin in the thrombi. Factor VII(ai), a potent inhibitor of TF, essentially abolished fibrin production and markedly reduced the mass of the thrombi. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed TF-positive membrane vesicles that we frequently observed in large clusters near the surface of platelets. TF, measured by factor X(a) formation, was extracted from whole blood and plasma of healthy subjects. By using immunostaining, TF- containing neutrophils and monocytes were identified in peripheral blood; our data raise the possibility that leukocytes are the main source of blood TF. We suggest that blood-borne TF is inherently thrombogenic and may be involved in thrombus propagation at the site of vascular injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2311-2315
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2 Mar 1999


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