Circulating levels of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) are lower in coronary heart disease (CHD) than in healthy subjects and are associated with coronary events and mortality. However, the mechanism(s) underling this association is not fully understood. We hypothesize that BDNF may influence fibrin fiber structure and clot stability, favoring clot lysis and thrombus resolution. We showed that recombinant BDNF (rh-BDNF) influenced with clot formation in a concentration-dependent manner in both purified fibrinogen and plasma from healthy subjects. In particular, rh-BDNF reduced the density of fibrin fibers, the maximum clot firmness (MCF) and the maximum clot turbidity, and affected the lysis of clot. In addition, both thrombin and reptilase clotting time were prolonged by rh-BDNF, despite the amount of thrombin formed was greater. Intriguingly, CHD patients had lower levels of BDNF, greater fibrin fibers density, higher MCF than control subjects, and a negative correlation between BDNF and MCF was found. Of note, rh-BDNF markedly modified fibrin clot profile restoring physiological clot morphology in CHD plasma. In conclusion, we provide evidence that low levels of BDNF correlate with the formation of bigger thrombi (in vitro) and that this effect is mediated, at least partially, by the alteration of fibrin fibers formation.
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