Pathogenicity of human anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4)/heparin in vivo: generation of mouse anti-PF4/heparin and induction of thrombocytopenia by heparin.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia/thrombosis (HIT) is a severe thrombotic disorder that occurs in approximately 1% of patients treated with heparin. Affected patients commonly develop antibodies that recognize PF4/heparin complexes that may form on the surface of activated platelets and on the endothelium. However, it has not been established that anti-PF4/heparin antibodies are responsible for the clinical manifestations of HIT. To address this issue, we employed a recently developed model of active immunity to study the effect of IgG anti-PF4/heparin antibody in vivo. In previous studies we have shown that it is possible to induce autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), anti-phospholipid syndrome (APS) or vasculitis in naive mice by active immunization with anti-DNA, anti-cardiolipin and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies, respectively. Immunized animals develop anti-idiotypic antibodies (Ab2) and, after 2-4 months, anti-anti-idiotypic antibodies (Ab3). Ab3s generated in this manner often simulate the binding activity of Ab1 and their expression correlates with the development of specific clinical manifestations typical of the respective human disease. Based on this experience, naive BALB/c mice were immunized with IgG anti-PF4/heparin antibodies isolated from two patients with HIT. The actively immunized mice developed mouse anti-PF4/heparin antibody (Ab3). Administration of unfractionated heparin, but not low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), to the actively immunized animals induced thrombocytopenia by day 4 of drug exposure. There was no evidence of thrombosis. The results of this study support the importance of anti-PF4/heparin antibodies in the pathogenesis of HIT. Further, this model may help to elucidate the factors responsible for thrombosis as well as providing means to assess new treatment options for patients with this disorder.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Blank, M; Cines, DB; Arepally, G; Eldor, A; Afek, A; Shoenfeld, Y

Published Date

  • May 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 108 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 333 - 339

PubMed ID

  • 9158107

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC1904650

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-9104

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1046/j.1365-2249.1997.d01-1008.x


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England