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Thrombin and fibrinogen γ′ impact clot structure by marked effects on intrafibrillar structure and protofibril packing

Marco M. Domingues, Fraser L. Macrae, Cédric Duval, Helen R. McPherson, Katherine I. Bridge, Ramzi A. Ajjan, Victoria C. Ridger, Simon D. Connell, Helen Philippou and Robert A. S. Ariëns

Data supplements

Article Figures & Data

Figures

  • Figure 1

    Thrombin effects on fibrin clot network and fibrin fiber size. Transmission electron microscopy images under dried conditions of fibrin clots made with human plasminogen-depleted IF-1 purified fibrinogen (1 mg/mL), CaCl2 (2.5 mM), and thrombin at concentrations of (A) 0.1, (B) 1.0, and (C) 10 U/mL. Scale bars, 500 nm. (D) Fibrin fiber radius obtained by measurement of n = 50 fibrin fibers at 0.1, 1.0, and 10 U/mL thrombin. The individually plotted data represent the dispersion of the fiber size within the clot, and the bar represents the mean value. Statistical significance, using a 1-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), is denoted with ****P < .001 for comparison between 0.1 U/mL and the remaining thrombin concentrations.

  • Figure 2

    Thrombin effects on molecular structure of fibrin fibers in purified systems. Clots were made with human plasminogen-depleted IF-1 purified fibrinogen (1 mg/mL), thrombin (0.005-10 U/mL), and CaCl2 (2.5 mM) and analyzed by turbidimetry. (A) Fibrin fiber radius. (B) Number of protofibrils within fibrin fiber. (C) Protein density of fibrin fibers. (D) Distance between protofibrils inside of fibrin fibers. The results represent the mean values ± standard deviation (SD); n = 3. Statistical significance, using a 1-way ANOVA, is denoted with **P < .01, ***P < .005, and ****P < .001 for comparison between 0.005 U/mL and the remaining thrombin concentrations.

  • Figure 3

    Thrombin effects on molecular structure of fibrin fibers in plasma. Clots were made with normal pooled human plasma (0.3 mg/mL), thrombin (0.1 and 1.0 U/mL), and CaCl2 (10 mM) and analyzed by turbidimetry. (A) Fibrin fiber radius. (B) Number of protofibrils within the fibrin fiber. (C) Protein density of fibrin fibers. (D) Distance between protofibrils inside the fibrin fibers. The results represent the mean values ± SD; n = 3. Statistical significance, using an unpaired t test, is denoted with ***P < .005 and ****P < .001 for comparison.

  • Figure 4

    Thrombin effects on fibrin fiber size by atomic force microscopy. (A) Three representative atomic force microscopy images of fibrin fibers formed with human plasminogen-depleted IF-1 purified fibrinogen (1 mg/mL), 2.5 mM CaCl2, and 0.1, 1.0, and 10 U/mL thrombin. (B) Fibrin fiber radius obtained by atomic force microscopy in liquid at 0.1, 1.0, and 10 U/mL thrombin. Each image is 4 × 4 μm, the scale bar indicates 500 nm, and 5 cross sections along the fibrin fiber are shown that were used in fiber diameter calculations. The results represent the mean values ± SD; n = 25 fibers. Statistical significance, using a 1-way ANOVA, is denoted with ***P < .005 and ****P < .001 for comparison between 0.1 U/mL and the remaining thrombin concentrations.

  • Figure 5

    Effect of γ′ on the molecular structure of fibrin fibers over a range of thrombin concentrations. Fibrin was made with 1 mg/mL purified γA/γA (white bars) or γA/γ′ (black bars) fibrinogen, 2.5 mM CaCl2, and a range of thrombin concentrations. (A) Fibrin fiber radius. (B) Number of protofibrils within fibrin fibers. (C) Protein density of fibrin fibers. (D) Distance between protofibrils inside the fibrin fibers. (E) Cold field scanning electron images of γA/γA and (F) γA/γ′ fibrin fibers both produced with 1 mg/mL fibrinogen, 0.1 U/mL thrombin, and 10 mM CaCl2 (scale bars, 200 nm). (G) Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of fibrinogen. Lane 1, molecular marker (kDa); lane 2, γA/γA fibrinogen; lane 3, γA/γ′ fibrinogen; lane 4, human plasminogen-depleted IF-1 purified fibrinogen. The results represent the mean values ± SD, n = 3. Statistical significance, using a 2-way ANOVA, is denoted with ***P < .005 and ****P < .001 for comparison between γA/γA and γA/γ′ at each thrombin concentrations.

  • Figure 6

    Effect of γ′ on the molecular structure of fibrin fibers in plasma. Fibrinogen-deficient plasma was diluted 1/10 and supplemented with 0.3 mg/mL purified γA/γA (white bars), γA/γ′ (black bars), γA/γA:γA/γ′ 60%:40% (gray bars), and γA/γA:γA/γ′ 91%:9% (square patterned bars) fibrinogen, 10 mM CaCl2, and thrombin concentration of 0.1 U/mL. (A) Fibrin fiber radius. (B) Number of protofibrils within fibrin fibers. (C) Protein density of fibrin fibers. (D) Distance between protofibrils inside the fibrin fibers. The results represent the mean values ± SD; n = 3. Statistical significance, using a 1-way ANOVA, is denoted with *P < .05, **P < .01, ***P < .005, and ****P < .001 for comparison between γA/γA and the other fibrinogen systems. The quantitative data are presented in supplemental Table 2.

  • Figure 7

    Schematic representation of the effects of thrombin and γ′ on hydrated fibrin fibers. Increased thrombin concentration, as well as replacement of γA/γA by γA/γ′, leads to formation of less compact fibrin fibers with lower protein density. This is associated with mechanical weakness of fibrin fibers under bloodstream shear.

Tables

  • Table 1

    Viscoelastic properties of fibrin clots produced with human plasminogen-depleted IF-1 purified fibrinogen analyzed with magnetic tweezers

    Thrombin, U/mLG′, PaG″, Patan δ
    0.10.677 ± 0.0460.164 ± 0.0100.242 ± 0.022
    1.00.360 ± 0.051**0.255 ± 0.0210.708 ± 0.116*
    5.00.259 ± 0.034****0.126 ± 0.0720.486 ± 0.285
    • Data represented as mean ± SD; n = 3. Statistical significance is denoted with *P < .05, **P < .01, and ****P < .001 for comparison between 0.1 U/mL and the remaining thrombin concentrations. G′, storage modulus; G″, loss modulus.

  • Table 2

    Thromboelastometric properties of fibrin clots produced with whole blood, normal pooled plasma, and fibrinogen-deficient plasma supplemented with γA/γA and γA/γ′ fibrinogen

    Whole bloodNormal pooled plasmaFibrinogen-deficient plasma
    γA/γAγA/γ′
    Thrombin, U/mL1.010.01.010.01.010.01.010.0
    MC, mm60.0 ± 3.636.0 ± 11.1*25.7 ± 3.011.2 ± 3.3*20.5 ± 1.313.7 ± 4.2*12.7 ± 0.6#11.3 ± 2.1
    G, ×103, dyne/cm27.7 ± 1.13.0 ± 1.3*1.7 ± 0.30.6 ± 0.2*1.3 ± 0.10.8 ± 0.3*0.7 ± 0.0#0.6 ± 0.1
    CT, s81.5 ± 27.646.0 ± 27.776.7 ± 23.919.8 ± 10.5*131.3 ± 29.311.7 ± 5.9*204.3 ± 8.7#13.7 ± 5.5*
    CFR, °65.0 ± 5.659.7 ± 6.453.3 ± 8.058.3 ± 4.158.5 ± 1.771.0 ± 10.444.0 ± 5.359.3 ± 6.5
    • Data represented as mean ± SD; n = 3. Statistical significance is denoted with *P < .05 for differences between 1.0 and 10.0 U/mL thrombin and #P < .05 for comparison between γA/γA and γA/γ′ supplemented fibrinogen-deficient plasmas with the same thrombin concentration. CFR, clot formation rate; CT, clot formation time; G, storage modulus; MCF, maximum clot firmness.