The mechanism of fibrin-induced disorganization of cultured human endothelial cell monolayers.
Deposition of polymerizing fibrin on the vascular endothelium is the final event in intravascular coagulation. Exposure of fibrin clots to confluent monolayers of cultured human endothelial cells for 4 to 24 hours resulted in the disappearance of their normal cobblestone morphology and in the formation of endothelial cell aggregates. The present study was designed to evaluate the conditions and structural requirements of the fibrin clot for the induction of disorganization. Even after harsh treatment with denaturing agents or loading with large amounts of fibrinogen antibodies, polymerized fibrin always induced disorganization of the monolayers. In contrast, soluble fibrin that was kept in solution by either fibrinogen, fragment D-cate, or the tetrapeptide Gly-Pro-Arg-Pro did not cause any alteration of the monolayers. The fibrinogen degradation product D-cate (Mr 94,000) itself had no microscopically detectable influence on the monolayer structure. In the absence of fibrin, the effect of thrombin on endothelial cells was found to be distinct from that induced by fibrin; however, the exposure of pieces of glass coverslips caused alterations in morphology indistinguishable from the fibrin-induced disorganization of the monolayer. Experiments using protein-coated polyester films indicated that the ability of the endothelial cells to attach to the overlying material, independent of its chemical structure, is the prerequisite for the induction of disorganization, but not a defined component of the fibrin molecule. Disorganization of vascular endothelium in vivo might be important for the organization and revascularization of an occluding thrombus.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association