Complement Activation in Arterial and Venous Thrombosis is Mediated by Plasmin Foley, Jonathan H.; Walton, Bethany L.; Aleman, Maria M.; O'Byrne, Alice M.; Lei, Victor; Harrasser, Micaela; Foley, Kimberley A.; Wolberg, Alisa Sue; Conway, Edward M.
Thrombus formation leading to vaso-occlusive events is a major cause of death, and involves complex interactions between coagulation, fibrinolytic and innate immune systems. Leukocyte recruitment is a key step, mediated partly by chemotactic complement activation factors C3a and C5a. However, mechanisms mediating C3a/C5a generation during thrombosis have not been studied. In a murine venous thrombosis model, levels of thrombin–antithrombin complexes poorly correlated with C3a and C5a, excluding a central role for thrombin in C3a/C5a production. However, clotweight strongly correlated with C5a, suggesting processes triggered during thrombosis promote C5a generation. Since thrombosis elicits fibrinolysis,we hypothesized that plasmin activates C5 during thrombosis. In vitro, the catalytic efficiency of plasmin-mediated C5a generation greatly exceeded that of thrombin or factor Xa, but was similar to the recognized complement C5 convertases. Plasmin-activated C5 yielded a functional membrane attack complex (MAC). In an arterial thrombosis model, plasminogen activator administration increased C5a levels. Overall, these findings suggest plasmin bridges thrombosis and the immune response by liberating C5a and inducing MAC assembly. These new insights may lead to the development of strategies to limit thrombus formation and/or enhance resolution
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