Regulation of Tissue Plasminogen Activator in Sickle Cell Anemia

Academic Article


  • Evidence of activation of the clotting system in individuals with sickle cell anemia (SCA) has been observed by several investigators. It has been suggested that the clotting and fibrinolytic systems may play a role in the pathophysiology of vaso‐occlusion in SCA. We reported previously evidence of abnormal fibrinolytic activity as reflected in decreased releasable tissue plasminogen activator (t‐PA) using a functional assay. We have examined the mechanism of the decreased functional releasable t‐PA in individuals with SCA. We studied 12 patients with respect to releasable t‐PA, fast acting inhibitor to t‐PA (or PAI‐1), and immunoreactive or antigenic t‐PA. These SCA individuals were at their baseline states and not taking medications known to interfere with the fibrinolytic or clotting systems. We found that the mean releasable t‐PA for the SCA individuals was 0.01 IU/ml of plasma with a standard error of mean (SEM) of 0.01. The mean releasable t‐PA of 118 healthy normal controls was 0.70 IU/ml with SEM 0.10 (P < 0.001). The mean level of fast‐acting inhibitor to t‐PA in unoccluded circulation of the SCA patients' plasma was 16.5 IU/ml with SEM of 3.54. The mean plasma levels of fast‐acting inhibitor to t‐PA in 56 healthy controls was 2.56 IU/ml with SEM of 0.29 (P < 0.0001). The SCA patients had a mean baseline t‐PA antigen level of 5.98 ng/ml with SEM of 1.72. The mean level of t‐PA antigen of 78 healthy controls using the same technique was 4.3 ng/ml with SEM of 2.7 (not significant). The mean baseline functional t‐PA for SCA individuals was 0.15 IU/ml with SEM 0.01 and the mean baseline functional t‐PA for 118 controls was 0.17 IU/ml with SEM 0.10. These data suggest that the mechanism of decreased releasable t‐PA in sickle cell anemia is related to an elevation of fast‐acting inhibitor to t‐PA and that antigenically t‐PA is present in normal quantities in the baseline plasma in this population. Copyright © 1990 Wiley‐Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company
  • Author List

  • Phillips G; Hartman J; Keller VA; Santiago MA; Pizzo S
  • Start Page

  • 167
  • End Page

  • 170
  • Volume

  • 35