This study examines the assumption that both the anticoagulant and fibrinolytic activity that follow the generation of thrombin induced by infusion of factor Xa/PCPS are due to generation of activated protein C. Untreated controls or animals given unrelated antibody were compared with animals pretreated with a specific monoclonal antibody to protein C (HPC4). Compared with untreated controls excess HPC4 substantially reduced the level of protein C activation as observed by protein C immunoblotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for antitrypsin/activated protein C complexes. Despite this, the anticoagulant activity as reflected by the decline of factors Va and VIIIa levels (as observed by coagulation assays and by factor V immunoblotting) was significantly greater than controls. The fibrinolytic activity (as observed by assays of tissue plasminogen activator, D-Dimer, alpha 2-antiplasmin) also was significantly greater than controls. We conclude that neutralization of the protein C anticoagulant system while resulting in a significantly more intense coagulant response to Xa/PCPS does not preclude inactivation of factors Va and VIIIa and the full expression of the fibrinolytic response. We conclude further that after thrombin generation in vivo, protein C activation is not a prerequisite for the promotion of the fibrinolytic response previously observed, and that the inactivation of factors Va/VIIIa may be mediated by enzymes other than activated protein C. The reduction in alpha 2-antiplasmin levels in association with increased tissue plasminogen activator activity suggests that plasmin is a likely candidate.

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