The role of carrier number on the procoagulant activity of tissue factor in blood and plasma

G. W. Tormoen, S. Rugonyi, A. Gruber, O. J.T. McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Tissue factor (TF) is a transmembrane glycoprotein cofactor of activated blood coagulation factor VII (FVIIa) that is required for hemostatic thrombin generation at sites of blood vessel injury. Membrane-associated TF detected in circulating blood of healthy subjects, referred to as intravascular or circulating TF has been shown to contribute to experimental thrombus propagation at sites of localized vessel injury. Certain disease states, such as metastatic cancer, are associated with increased levels of intravascular TF and an elevated risk of venous thromboembolism. However, the physiological relevance of circulating TF to hemostasis or thrombosis, as well as cancer metastasis, is ill-defined. This study was designed to assess whether the spatial separation of intravascular TF carriers in blood, demonstrated with TF-inducible human monocytic cell line U937 or TF-coated polymer microspheres, affected procoagulant activity and hence thrombogenic potential. Experiments were performed to characterize the effects of TF-carrier number on the kinetics of clot formation in both open and closed systems. The procoagulant activity of TF carriers was found to correlate with spatial separation in both closed, well-mixed systems and open, flowing systems. TF carriers enhanced the amidolytic activity of FVIIa toward the chromogenic substrate, S-2366, as a function of carrier count. These results suggest that TF-initiated coagulation by circulating TF is kinetically limited by mass transport of TF-dependent coagulation factors to the TF-bearing surface, a constraint that may be unique to circulating TF. Spatial separation of circulating TF carriers is therefore a critical determinant of the procoagulant activity of circulating TF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number066005
JournalPhysical Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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