Key Points

  • siRNA targeting FXIII-B decreases the concentration of plasma-FXIII-A for over 3 weeks following a single injection.

  • Pharmacologic depletion of FXIII-A via FXIII-B can enhance fibrinolysis without excessive bleeding.

The activated form of coagulation factor XIII (FXIII-A2B2), FXIII-A*, is a hemostatic enzyme essential for inhibiting fibrinolysis, by irreversibly crosslinking fibrin and antifibrinolytic proteins. Despite its importance, there are no modulatory therapeutics. Guided by the observation that humans deficient in FXIII-B have reduced FXIII-A without severe bleeding, we hypothesized that a suitable small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting hepatic FXIII-B could safely decrease FXIII-A. Here we show that knockdown of FXIII-B with siRNA in mice and rabbits using lipid nanoparticles resulted in a sustained and controlled decrease in FXIII-A. The concentration of FXIII-A in plasma was reduced by 90% for weeks after a single injection, and over 5 months with repeated injections, while the concentration of FXIII-A in platelets was unchanged. Ex vivo, cross-linking of α2-antiplasmin and fibrin was impaired, and fibrinolysis was enhanced. In vivo, reperfusion of carotid artery thrombotic occlusion was also enhanced. Rebleeding events were increased after challenge, but blood loss was not significantly increased. This approach, which mimics congenital FXIII-B deficiency, provides a potential pharmacological and experimental tool to modulate FXIII-A2B2 activity.

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