Identification and distribution of fibrinogen, fibrin, and fibrin(ogen) degradation products in atherosclerosis. Use of monoclonal antibodies.
Samples of normal and atherosclerotic vessels obtained from vascular and cardiothoracic surgery were examined for the distribution of fibrinogen/fibrin I, fibrin II, and fibrin(ogen) degradation products (Fragment D/DD) by using recently characterized monoclonal antibodies that recognize and distinguish the three molecular forms (MAbs 18C6, T2G1, and GC4, respectively) with the ABC-immunoperoxidase technique. In normal aortas, little fibrinogen/fibrin I or fibrin II was present and no fibrin(ogen) degradation products could be detected. In early lesions and in fibrous plaques, fibrinogen/fibrin I and fibrin II were distributed in long threads and surrounding vessel wall cells and macrophages. Fibrin(ogen) degradation products were not seen in early lesions. In fibrous and advanced plaques, fibrinogen/fibrin I, fibrin II, and fibrin(ogen) degradation products were detected in areas of loose connective tissue, in thrombus, and around cholesterol crystals. The results of this study suggest that increased fibrin formation and degradation may be associated with progression of atherosclerotic disease. The observed distribution of the different molecular forms of fibrinogen also suggests the possibility that the cells present in the lesions actively participate in the fibrinogen-to-fibrin transition within the vessel wall.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association