Enhanced tissue factor expression by blood eosinophils from patients with hypereosinophilia: A possible link with thrombosis

Massimo Cugno, Angelo V. Marzano, Maurizio Lorini, Vincenzo Carbonelli, Alberto Tedeschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thrombotic risk is increased in eosinophil-mediated disorders, and several hypotheses have been proposed to link eosinophilia and thrombosis. In particular, eosinophils have been described as source of tissue factor (TF), the main initiator of blood coagulation; however, this aspect is still controversial. This study was aimed to evaluate whether TF expression varies in eosinophils isolated from normal subjects and patients with different hypereosinophilic conditions. Eosinophils were immunologically purified from peripheral blood samples of 9 patients with different hypereosinophilic conditions and 9 normal subjects. Western blot analysis and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were performed to test eosinophil TF expression. For comparison, TF expression was evaluated in monocytes from blood donors and in human endothelial (ECV304) and fibroblast (IMR90) cell lines. Western blot analysis revealed a major band of 47,000 corresponding to native TF in homogenates of purified eosinophils with a higher intensity in the 9 patients than in the 9 controls (p<0.0001). According to RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct), TF gene expression was higher in eosinophils from patients than in those from controls, median (range) 35.10 (19.45-36.50) vs 37.17 (35.33-37.87) (p= 0.002), and was particularly abundant in one patient with idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome and ischemic heart attacks (Ct: 19.45). TF gene expression was moderate in monocytes, Ct: 31.32 (29.82-33.49) and abundant in endothelial cells, Ct: 28.70 (27.79-29.57) and fibroblasts, Ct: 22.77 (19.22-25.05). Our results indicate that human blood eosinophils contain variable amounts of TF. The higher TF expression in patients with hypereosinophilic disorders may contribute to increase the thrombotic risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere111862
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 6 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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