A novel antithrombin-heparin covalent complex
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Heparin has been used extensively for prophylaxis and treatment of deep vein thrombosis. However, heparin has several limitations including a short intravenous half-life, inability to inhibit clot-bound thrombin, and bleeding. We have developed a covalent antithrombin-heparin complex (ATH) that has a longer intravenous half-life and greater anticoagulant activity than heparin. The antithrombotic activity of ATH was tested in a rabbit jugular vein thrombosis treatment model. Administration of ATH caused a 17% reduction in clot weight compared with an increase of 24, 60, 172 and 135% for administration of antithrombin plus heparin, heparin, antithrombin and saline, respectively. Clot weight and fibrin accretion were both significantly lower in the ATH group than in the antithrombin plus heparin group (P < 0.05). The peak anti-factor-Xa activity was fourfold higher in the ATH group than in the antithrombin plus heparin group. Using a rabbit bleeding ear model, there was no significant difference in cumulative blood loss between ATH and antithrombin plus heparin groups, at similar plasma anti-factor-Xa levels. In conclusion, ATH has superior antithrombotic activity and similar bleeding effect compared with heparin on a mass basis. The enhanced antithrombotic activity of ATH may be a result of its increased anticoagulant activity or its longer half life, or both.
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