Comparative Pharmacodynamic Assessment of the Antiangiogenesis Activity of Heparin and Low-Molecular-Weight Heparin Fractions: Structure-Function Relationship

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Effects of unfractionated heparin and low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs) on human microvascular endothelial cell sprouting (tube formation assay) in vitro were determined. Antiangiogenesis efficacy of commercially available LMWHs tinzaparin and enoxaparin in the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model of growth factor-induced angiogenesis was compared. The LMWH tinzaparin was fractionated into different molecular weight (MW) pools by size exclusion chromatography; they inhibited CAM angiogenesis depending on their MW distribution, with optimal inhibition at 8 to 12 kDa and no inhibition at <2 kDa. Tinzaparin demonstrated greater antiangiogenesis efficacy than enoxaparin (P < .001); these CAM results correlated with the endothelial tube formation assay results (P < .001, tinzaparin vs enoxaparin). These data point to the variable antiangiogenesis efficacy of different LMWHs as a function of MW and perhaps other structural differences. Our hypothesis confirmed a relationship between lower release of tissue factor pathway inhibitor by lower MW fractions of tinzaparin or enoxaparin leading to reduced antiangiogenesis efficacy.

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