Cre/lox Studies Identify Resident Macrophages as the Major Source of Circulating Coagulation Factor XIII-A

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To establish the cellular source of plasma factor (F)XIII-A.

Approach and Results—

A novel mouse floxed for the F13a1 gene, FXIII-Aflox/flox (Flox), was crossed with myeloid- and platelet-cre–expressing mice, and cellular FXIII-A mRNA expression and plasma and platelet FXIII-A levels were measured. The platelet factor 4-cre.Flox cross abolished platelet FXIII-A and reduced plasma FXIII-A to 23±3% (P<0.001). However, the effect of platelet factor 4-cre on plasma FXIII-A was exerted outside of the megakaryocyte lineage because plasma FXIII-A was not reduced in the Mpl−/− mouse, despite marked thrombocytopenia. In support of this, platelet factor 4-cre depleted FXIII-A mRNA in brain, aorta, and heart of floxed mice, where FXIII-Apos cells were identified as macrophages as they costained with CD163. In the integrin αM-cre.Flox and the double copy lysozyme 2-cre.cre.Flox crosses, plasma FXIII-A was reduced to, respectively, 75±5% (P=0.003) and 30±7% (P<0.001), with no change in FXIII-A content per platelet, further consistent with a macrophage origin of plasma FXIII-A. The change in plasma FXIII-A levels across the various mouse genotypes mirrored the change in FXIII-A mRNA expression in aorta. Bone marrow transplantation of FXIII-A+/+ bone marrow into FXIII-A−/− mice both restored plasma FXIII-A to normal levels and replaced aortic and cardiac FXIII-A mRNA, while its transplantation into FXIII-A+/+ mice did not increase plasma FXIII-A levels, suggesting that a limited population of niches exists that support FXIII-A-releasing cells.


This work suggests that resident macrophages maintain plasma FXIII-A and exclude the platelet lineage as a major contributor.

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