Expression of type 1 plasminogen activator inhibitor in chronic pulmonary thromboemboli.
BACKGROUND Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension is the result of nonresolving pulmonary emboli that lead to chronic obstruction of the central pulmonary arteries.
METHODS AND RESULTS To determine if the failure to lyse pulmonary thromboemboli is caused by the local expression of the primary inhibitor of tissue-type plasminogen activator (type 1 plasminogen activator inhibitor, PAI-1), levels of PAI-1 antigen and mRNA were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization in specimens harvested from a series of patients during pulmonary thromboendarterectomies. Red, fibrin-rich thrombi within the thromboendarterectomy specimens were lined with a single layer of endothelial cells exhibiting high levels of PAI-1 antigen. Quantitation of the in situ hybridization signal revealed that a significant increase in PAI-1 mRNA was present in the endothelial cells lining the fresh thrombi in comparison to the signal present in the endothelial cells from noninvolved areas of patients' pulmonary arteries (n = 16, P < .001). In contrast, tissue-type plasminogen activator antigen levels were low in all samples. Yellowish-white thrombi were composed of smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells in numerous vessels that stained prominently for PAI-1 antigen. Both types of cells within the highly organized tissues also exhibited elevated PAI-1 mRNA levels in comparison to patient pulmonary artery specimens that were free of thrombus (n = 16, P < .02).
CONCLUSIONS The prevalence of PAI-1 expression within pulmonary thromboemboli suggests that this inhibitory may play a role in the stabilization of vascular thrombi.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association