Blood Journal
Leading the way in experimental and clinical research in hematology

Activated protein C decreases plasminogen activator-inhibitor activity in endothelial cell-conditioned medium

  1. VW van Hinsbergh,
  2. RM Bertina,
  3. A van Wijngaarden,
  4. NH van Tilburg,
  5. JJ Emeis, and
  6. F Haverkate


Confluent cultures of endothelial cells from human umbilical cord were used to study the effect of activated human protein C (APC) on the production of plasminogen activators, plasminogen activator-inhibitor, and factor VIII-related antigen. Addition of APC to the cells in a serum-free medium did not affect the production of tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) or factor VIII-related antigen; under all measured conditions, no urokinase activity was found. However, less plasminogen activator-inhibitor activity accumulated in the conditioned medium in the presence of APC. This decrease was dose dependent and could be prevented by specific anti-protein C antibodies. No decrease was observed with the zymogen protein C or with diisopropylfluorophosphate-inactivated APC. APC also decreased the t-PA inhibitor activity in endothelial cell-conditioned medium in the absence of cells, which suggests that the effect of APC is at least partly due to a direct effect of APC on the plasminogen activator- inhibitor. High concentrations of thrombin-but not of factor Xa or IXa-- had a similar effect on the t-PA inhibitor activity. The effect of APC on the plasminogen activator-inhibitor provides a new mechanism by which APC may enhance fibrinolysis. The data suggest that activation of the coagulation system may lead to a secondary increase of the fibrinolytic activity by changing the balance between plasminogen activator(s) and its (their) fast-acting inhibitor.