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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Tissue factor as a proinflammatory agent

Maria I Bokarewa1*, James H Morrissey2 and Andrej Tarkowski1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Rheumatology, Sahlgrenska Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden

2 Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA

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Arthritis Res 2002, 4:190-195  doi:10.1186/ar405

Published: 10 January 2002

Abstract

Tissue factor (TF) is a transmembrane glycoprotein and the main triggering element of blood coagulation. TF expression on monocytes and endothelial cells is induced by exposure to endotoxin, tumor necrosis factor, and IL-1 and is considered to appear in consequence of inflammation. In order to assess the proinflammatory capacity of TF itself, the recombinant extracellular domain of TF was injected intra-articularly into healthy mice. To characterize the role of immune cells in the TF-induced arthritis, mice deprived of lymphocytes, neutrophils and monocytes were used. Histomorphological analysis of the joints with respect to inflammatory cell infiltration, pannus formation and erosion formation revealed development of arthritis in 80% of animals injected with TF. In most of the cases synovial proliferation was accompanied by pannus formation and cartilage destruction. Inflammatory cell infiltrate consisted of CD4-Mac1+ macrophages. Depletion of monocytes was, however, not enough to abolish inflammation. Indeed, combined deficiency of monocytes and lymphocytes was required to prevent inflammation following the injection of TF. We observed that TF induced chemokine production (MIP-1α and RANTES), but did not induce a proliferative response nor cytokine release by mouse spleen cells. TF has strong inflammatogenic properties mediated predominantly by monocytes and their release of chemokines. Our study shows that TF can simultaneously trigger the immune and coagulation systems.

Keywords:
arthritis; inflammation; monocyte; tissue factor