Prothrombotic factors enhance heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis in vivo in a mouse model.
, Taylor SM
, Franklin C
, Sachais BS
, Cines DB
, Williams KJ
, McKenzie SE
Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA. email@example.com
BACKGROUND: Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia/thrombosis (HIT/T) is a common cause of life- and limb-threatening thrombosis. The development of antibodies that react with complexes of heparin and platelet factor 4 (PF4) is fundamental to the development of the disease. However, anti-PF4/heparin antibodies are far more common than is HIT/T and there is less understanding of the factors that contribute to thrombosis in only a subset of patients. OBJECTIVES: Both qualitative and quantitative differences in multiple factors (e.g. antibodies, heparin and platelets) may influence the clinical course of patients who develop anti-PF4/heparin antibodies. We examined the hypothesis that host-specific factors, such as comorbid prothrombotic conditions, would exacerbate the pathologic effects of anti-PF4/heparin antibodies. METHODS AND RESULTS: A mouse model transgenic for human Fcgamma RIIa and PF4 and null for mouse PF4 was used to study the influence of prothrombotic conditions on the effects of anti-PF4/heparin antibodies in vivo. To simulate a prothrombotic milieu, mice were fed a hypercholesterolemic diet (HD). HD-fed mice had elevated plasma cholesterol, increased platelet reactivity and increased endothelial activation relative to mice fed a standard diet (SD). Age- and sex-matched mice from each diet group were treated with an anti-PF4/heparin antibody and heparin. HD-fed mice developed more severe thrombocytopenia than similarly treated SD-fed mice. Mice with moderate to severe thrombocytopenia had elevated plasma levels of thrombin-antithrombin complexes, indicative of increased thrombin generation in vivo. Platelet-fibrin thrombi were observed in multiple organs of HD-fed mice that developed severe thrombocytopenia. CONCLUSIONS: Host-specific factors, such as prothrombotic changes in platelet reactivity and/or endothelial activation, may influence the development of thrombosis in a subset of patients who develop anti-PF4/heparin antibodies.
PMID: 16961586 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]