Human polymorphonuclear leukocytes produce and express functional tissue factor upon stimulation

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Background: Blood-borne tissue factor (TF) plays a crucial role in thrombogenesis. Aim: To study whether polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) are a source of TF. Methods and Results: Human PMN were carefully separated from ot her blood cells and stimulated for 3 min with purified P-selectin or the chemotactic peptide formyl-MetLeu- Phe (fMLP): they expressed both TF procoagulant activity, as identified by specific TF MoAb and inactivated factor VIIa blockade; and TF:Ag (four to six times), as shown by flowcytometry and immunocytochemistry. About 40% of permeabilized PMN, both resting and stimulated, contained TF:Ag, indicating that stimulation onlymodifies the location of TF:Ag within PMN. By real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), a very low amount of TF mRNA was detectable in resting PMN, but a 3- to 5-fold increase was observed after 1-h stimulation with P-selectin or fMLP, respectively. Conclusions: These findings suggest that TF is not constitutively expressed in peripheral PMN, but can be up-regulated and produced upon stimulation and specific gene transcription, as for instance during contact with activated platelets or endothelium. The stored TF is rapidly expressed in vitro as a functional molecule on the surface of activated PMN. The availability of PMNTF supports the relevance of inflammatory cells and their interactionwith platelets for fibrin deposition and thrombus formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1323-1330
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Inflammation
  • Platelet P-selectin
  • Polymorphonuclear leukocytes
  • Thrombosis
  • Tissue factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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