Respective role of antithrombin III and heparin cofactor II in the in vitro anticoagulant effect of heparin and of various sulphated polysaccharides
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The in vitro anticoagulant effects of standard heparin (SH) and of seven other sulphated polysaccharides (SPS) were investigated by measuring activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) prolongation of normal plasma and of plasmas selectively depleted of antithrombin III (AT III), of heparin cofactor II (HC II) and of both heparin cofactors. This allowed the determination of the relative contribution of each of the two heparin cofactors to the SPS anticoagulant effect. The SPS varied in their relative activities as catalysts of thrombin inhibition by purified AT III or HC II. The anticoagulant activities of heparin and dermatan sulphate were primarily attributable to their ability to enhance thrombin inhibition by AT III and HC II respectively. Heparin had an additional minor anticoagulant activity which was independent of both AT III and HC II. Pentosan polysulphate, high molecular weight dextran sulphate, heparin with low affinity for AT III and a sulphated heparin derivative had weaker anticoagulant activities in normal plasma than standard heparin. The anticoagulant activities of these last four SPS in plasma depleted of both AT III and HC II were similar to their respective activities in normal plasma. This suggests that these SPS act by directly preventing thrombin generation rather than by enhancing thrombin inhibition.
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