Laboratory characterization of leukemic cell procoagulants

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Abstract

Background:

In acute myeloid leukemias, there is an increased chance to develop thrombotic disorders. We hypothesized that in addition to leukemic promyelocytes, monocytic leukemia cells may also have a higher procoagulant activity.

Methods:

Fibrin formation was assessed by a one-stage clotting assay using a magnetic coagulometer. The thrombin generation test (TGT) of magnetically isolated normal human monocytes, intact leukemic cells and their isolated microparticles was performed by a fluorimetric assay. Phosphatidylserine (PS) expression of leukemic cells and microparticle number determinations were carried out by flow cytometry.

Results:

All cell lines displayed a significant procoagulant potential compared to isolated normal human monocytes. In the TGT test, the mean of lagtime and the time to peak parameters were significantly shorter in leukemic cells (3.9-4.7 and 9.9-10.3 min) compared to monocytes (14.9 and 26.5 min). The mean of peak thrombin in various monocytic leukemia cell lines was 112.1-132.9 nM vs. 75.1 nM in monocytes; however, no significant difference was observed in the ETP parameter. Factor VII-deficient plasma abolished all procoagulant activity, whereas factor XII-deficient plasma did not affect the speed of fibrin formation and thrombin generation but modulated the amount of thrombin. Factor XI-deficient plasma affected the time to peak values in one leukemic cell line and also attenuated peak thrombin. Leukemia cell-derived microparticles from all three cell lines exerted a procoagulant effect by significantly shortening the lagtime in TGT; there was a nonsignificant difference in case of ETP parameter.

Conclusions:

All investigated monocytic leukemia cell lines exhibited significant thrombin generation. This phenomenon was achieved by the procoagulants on the surface of leukemic cells as well as by their microparticles.

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