H-kininogen (HK), a major factor involved in contact-phase activation, was recently immunolocalized on the external surface of human neutrophils. Experiments were, therefore, designed to consider the question of whether the complete assembly of contact factors occurs on the outer surface of the neutrophil membrane. By immunolocalization techniques, and using specific antibodies directed against the various contact factors, we now demonstrate that plasma prekallikrein (PK), factor XI (FXI), and factor XII (FXII) are present on the exterior face of the human neutrophil. Failure to localize HK, PK, or FXI by monoclonal antibodies directed to their reciprocal binding sites, and displacement of PK/FXI by peptide HK31, which mimics the relevant binding site(s) of HK, suggested that prekallikrein and FXI are anchored to the neutrophil membrane through attachment to the kininogen molecule. Probing of the kinin moiety by a specific antibody showed that kininogen molecules bound to the neutrophil cell membrane contain the kinin sequence, which can be released by plasma kallikrein or by tissue kallikrein. Our results led us to the novel conclusion that neutrophils provide a circulating platform for the components of the contact-phase system.

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