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Increased Production and Expression of Tissue Thromboplastin-Like Procoagulant Activity In Vitro by Allogeneically Stimulated Human Leukocytes

  • Henry Rothberger
  • Theodore S. Zimmerman
  • John H. Vaughan
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1978


Intravascular coagulation, thrombosis, and fibrin deposition often produce tissue damage in allogeneic inflammatory reactions such as allograft rejection. The mechanisms which initiate blood clotting in these reactions are poorly understood. We find that allogeneic stimulation of human leukocytes in vitro increases production and expression of tissue thromboplastin-like activity. In our experiments mixed leukocyte cultures (MLC) of cells from allogeneic (unrelated) donors produced and expressed more procoagulant activity than control cultures of cells from each donor alone. After 7 days, allogeneic MLC had 5- to 50-fold more total procoagulant activity than controls, as shown by assaying lysed whole cultures. Additionally, allogeneic MLC had 8- to 240-fold more procoagulant activity expressed on leukocyte surfaces and in culture supernates than controls after 7 days, as shown by assaying intact whole cultures and cell-free supernates. These increases were largely accounted for by gains in the amounts of procoagulant activity produced and expressed per cell in MLC as compared to controls. Controls and MLC produced and expressed considerable amounts of procoagulant activity during the 1st day of culture, and there were no differential effects of allogeneic stimulation on day 1. However, after day 1, the total amount of procoagulant activity produced and the amount expressed declined steadily in controls, nearly reaching preculture levels by day 7. In contrast, the total amount of procoagulant activity in allogeneic MLC remained high, and the amount of activity expressed on cell surfaces and in supernates increased severalfold by day 7. MLC of syngeneic (identical twin) cells produced and expressed the same amount of activity as controls over a 7-day period, whereas MLC of cells from each twin and an allogeneic donor produced and expressed more activity than controls (at least 9- and 35-fold more, respectively). Thus, increases of procoagulant activity production and expression were found only in MLC of genetically dissimilar cells. Therefore, these increases must have resulted from allogeneic stimulation.

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