Low molecular weight heparin-catalyzed inactivation of Factor Xa and thrombin by antithrombin III-effect of Platelet Factor 4

Pieter Schoen, Theo Lindhout, Jo Franssen, H. Coenraad Hemker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    86 Downloads (Pure)


    Low molecular weight (LMW) heparin preparations have unknown distributions of ATIII-binding material, so mean molecular weights as such might bear little information on their anti-factor Xa and anti-thrombin activities, and on the neutralization of these activities by platelet factor 4 (PF4). These properties were investigated in pure systems with proteins of human origin. Pseudo-first order rate constants of inactivation of factor Xa and thrombin by antithrombin III were determined as function of heparin concentration, in the presence of 4.0 mM CaCl2. Despite a large variation in the mean molecular weights, the ratios of the anti-factor Xa over the anti-thrombin activities were essentially the same for the 4th International Standard for heparin (0.46), the 1st International Standard for LMW heparin (0.32), CY216 (0.42) and enoxaparin (0.50). The ultra LMW heparin CY222 had only a 2-times higher ratio (0.98). Analysis of CY216 subfractions, obtained by gel filtration, showed that the heparin molecules of the upper region of the molecular weight distribution are responsible for the anti-thrombin, but also to a large extent for the anti-factor Xa activities. The results indicate that depolymerization of unfractionated heparin does not result in an increased anti-factor Xa/anti-thrombin ratio, because in the presence of Ca2+-ions the rate constants of inactivation of factor Xa are lowered as compared to those of native heparin. PF4-dependent neutralization of anti-factor Xa and anti-thrombin activities of fixed concentrations of the LMW heparins was studied by measuring rate constants as function of PF4 concentration. All anti-thrombin and 50% of the anti-factor Xa activities were readily neutralized. Excess PF4 was required to neutralize another 35-50% of the anti-factor Xa activities. At PF4 levels obtained at maximal release of the content of platelet α-granules, all anti-thrombin and most (≥85%) of the anti-factor Xa activities can be neutralized.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)435-441
    Number of pages7
    JournalThrombosis and Haemostasis
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1991

    Cite this