What is the source of tissue factor (TF) in the pathogenesis of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)?

Updated: Dec 06, 2020
  • Author: Marcel M Levi, MD; Chief Editor: Srikanth Nagalla, MBBS, MS, FACP  more...
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The actual source of the TF has not been established with certainty. TF may be expressed on mononuclear cells in vitro, and its expression on circulating monocytes of patients with severe infection has been demonstrated. In addition, it may be expressed on endothelial cells. Injured endothelial cells express TF, whereas healthy ones do not. However, the importance of endothelial cell TF expression in vivo and its role in the pathogenesis of DIC remain to be determined.

Another source of TF may be polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) and other similar cell types, though it is unlikely that these cells actually synthesize TF in substantial quantities. On the basis of the observation that TF has been transferred from leukocytes to activated platelets on a collagen surface in an ex-vivo perfusion system, it is hypothesized that this “bloodborne” TF is transferred between cells through microparticles derived from activated mononuclear cells.

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