Thromb Haemost 1990; 64(03): 464-468
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1647337
Original Article
Schattauer GmbH Stuttgart

The Anticoagulant Mechanism of Action of Recombinant Hirudin (CGP 39393) in Plasma

Theo Lindhout
The Department of Biochemistry University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands
,
Ron Blezer
The Department of Biochemistry University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands
,
H Coenraad Hemker
The Department of Biochemistry University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Received: 03 April 1990

Accepted after revision02 June 1990

Publication Date:
25 July 2018 (online)

Summary

We studied the inhibitory action of recombinant desulphatohirudin (CGP 39393) on thrombin generation in whole plasma. Human plasma was activated either with thromboplastin or factor IXa. Hirudin delayed thrombin generation, but it was unable to prevent the explosive appearance of thrombin. The dose-dependent prolongation of the lag phase of the intrinsic and extrinsic thrombin generation curve was not the result of titration of thrombin activity by hirudin but the result of a delayed formation of the prothrombin converting complex (prothrombinase). In case of extrinsic activation, hirudin did not affect factor Xa generation, but prolonged the lag phase of the factor Va generation curve, causing its appearance when factor Xa generation was already in the decay phase. Because of its inhibitory action on the thrombin-mediated activation of factor VIII, hirudin prolonged the lag phase of the factor X converting complex that consists of factor IXa and factor VIIIa. Our observations with hirudin are in keeping with the notion that inhibition of the thrombin-mediated amplification reactions in blood coagulation is a very efficient way to delay or inhibit completely thrombin generation. However, although hirudin neutralizes stoichiometric amounts of thrombin, the interaction between in situ generated thrombin and hirudin appears not to be fast enough to prevent trace amounts of thrombin to activate factors VIII and V. Consequently, an explosive thrombin generation is observed even when free hirudin is present.