Role of Thrombogenic Factors in the Development of Atherosclerosis
Hemostatic factors play a crucial role in generating thrombotic plugs at sites of vascular damage (atherothrombosis). However, whether hemostatic factors contribute directly or indirectly to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis remains uncertain. Autopsy studies have revealed that intimal thickening represents the first stage of atherosclerosis and that lipid-rich plaque arises from such lesions. Several factors contribute to the start of intimal thickening. Platelets release several growth factors and bioactive agents that play a central role in development of not only thrombus but also of intimal thickening. We have been investigating which coagulation factors simultaneously, or subsequently with platelet aggregation, participate in thrombus formation. Tissue factor (TF) is an essential initiator of blood coagulation that is expressed in various stages of atherosclerotic lesions in humans and other animals. Factors including thrombin and fibrin, which are downstream of the coagulation cascade activated by TF, also contribute to atherosclerosis. TF is involved in cell migration, embryogenesis and angiogenesis. Thus TF, in addition to factors downstream of the coagulation cascade and the protease-activated receptor 2 activation system, would be a multifactorial regulator of atherogenesis.
- Journal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis
Journal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis 12(1), 1-8, 2005-02-28
Japan Atherosclerosis Society