Tissue factor (TF) protein was overexpressed by macrophages and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and deposited in the extracellular matrix of atherosclerotic intimas, probably resulting in enhanced procoagulant activity and the intimate participation in either thrombus formation or intimal fibrin deposition after the exposure of flowing blood and permeated fibrinogen to TF in atherosclerotic lesions. On the other hand, APO(a) was localized both in the stroma and within some macrophages. Fibrin deposition, which was more frequently detected in the matrix of advanced lesions than in that of early lesions, occasionally colocated with cell- and matrix-associated TF and APO(a) deposited in the matrix. These findings further support the hypothesis that the coagulation and fibrinolysis systems can play an essential role in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis through fibrin deposition both in atherosclerotic plaques and on the arterial surface by neointimal hypercoagulability and a hypofibrinolytic state, which can also participate in SMC proliferation due to the decreased activation of TGF-β by embedded and deposited APO(a). The clinical implications of these phenomena may thus contribute to future investigations in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic diseases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine