Tissue Factor Expression in Mesothelial Cells: Induction BothIn Vivo and In Vitro

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Exudative pleural effusions are characterized by a high protein content and frequently progress to loculation and fibrosis. To test the hypothesis that tissue factor (TF) plays an integral role in this process, we investigated the expression of TF by human mesothelial cells (HMC) both in vivo and in vitro, and measured the effect of serum on HMC expression of TF in vitro. In vivo TF expression was not detected in HMC of normal pleura, but was detected in HMC of pleura overlying inflamed lung. In vitro, quiescent HMC demonstrated negligible levels of TF expression; however, upon serum stimulation there was a marked induction in both TF protein level and activity, peaking at 8-9 h. In contrast, treating quiescent HMC with plasma resulted in a further small, but significant, decrease in TF expression. This serum-induced rise in TF was also reflected in TF mRNA levels and did not require de novo protein synthesis. These results suggest that induction of HMC TF expression may be important in triggering both the intrapleural activation of prothrombin and the deposition of fibrin characteristic of inflammatory effusions.

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