A classification of the fibrin network structures formed from the hereditary dysfibrinogens

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Abstract

Objective

The main objective was to study the relationships of the molecular defects in 38 dysfibrinogens with their fibrin networks.

Methods and results

Scanning electron microscopic analyses revealed that all the fibrins formed under the same conditions had networks composed of either normal thickness fibers or thin fibers, accompanied by a variety of alterations in the network structure and characteristics. We classified these fibrin networks into five classes, designated normal, less-ordered, porous A, porous B and lace-like networks. The dysfibrinogens with defects in fibrinopeptide A release or the E:D binding sites formed normal or less-ordered networks, while those with defects in the D:D association formed porous A networks composed of many tapered terminating fibers, despite having fibers of normal width, and containing many pores or spaces. The porous B and lace-like networks were composed of highly branched thin fibers because of defects in the lateral association among protofibrils, and the major difference between them was the porosity of the porous B networks. All the porous B networks were easily damaged by mechanical stress, whereas the lace-like networks retained high resistance to such stress, indicating that the network strength was not dependent on the fiber width, but on the porosity that led to fragility of the network.

Conclusion

Impairment of the D:D association is the major disturbing factor that leads to the formation of porous fibrin networks. The porosity may be introduced by severe impairment of the D:D association, as well as the lateral association, as has often been observed by extra glycosylation or defects in Ca2+ binding.

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