Antiphospholipid antibodies and the protein C pathway

Rolf T. Urbanus, B. de Laat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Haemostasis is a delicate balance between procoagulant and anticoagulant processes. In the human body usually anticoagulant mechanisms prevail over procoagulant mechanisms, thereby preventing a prothrombotic state. The antiphospholipid syndrome is an example in which this balance is shifted to a more prothrombotic state due to the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. One of the most extensively proposed pathogenic mechanisms within the antiphospholipid syndrome is the inhibition of protein C by antiphospholipid antibodies. Antiphospholipid antibodies have been described to have different actions on the protein C pathway, for example decreasing protein C and/or S plasma levels, inducing increased resistance against activated protein C and lowering thrombin levels (resulting in an impaired protein C activation). This review briefly discusses the actions of protein C in human body but mainly focuses on the effects of antiphospholipid antibodies on the protein C pathway that have been described in literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-399
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • activated protein C
  • antiphospholipid antibodies
  • antiphospholipid syndrome
  • beta2-glycoprotein I

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