Because human platelets participate in the contact phase of intrinsic coagulation and contain a Factor XI-like coagulant activity, the nature of the Factor XI-like activity was examined and compared with purified plasma Factor XI. The platelet factor XI-like activity was sedimented with the particulate fraction of a platelet lysate, was inactivated by heat (t1/2 3.5 min, 56°C), was not a nonspecific phospholipid activity, and was destroyed by treatment with Triton X-100. Isolated platelet membranes were four-fold enriched in Factor XI activity and similarly enriched in plasma membrane marker enzymes. The Factor XI-like activity of platelet membranes was detected only when assayed in the presence of kaolin, which suggests that it is present in an unactivated form and can participate in contact activation. Concanavalin A inhibited the Factor XI-like activity of platelet lysates and platelet membranes but not of plasma or purified Factor XI. A platelet membrane-Factor XI complex was isolated after incubation of membranes with purified Factor XI. The Factor XI activity of the platelet membrane-plasma Factor XI complex was inhibited by concanavalin A, whereas unbound plasma Factor XI retained activity. An antibody raised against plasma Factor XI inhibited the in vitro Factor XI activity of plasma and of the platelet membrane-plasma Factor XI complex but had no effect on the endogenous Factor XI-like activity of washed lysed platelets or isolated platelet membranes. Washed platelets and isolated platelet membranes obtained from a Factor XI-deficient donor without a history of excessive bleeding had normal quantities of platelet Factor XI-like activity and normal behavior in the contact phase of coagulation (collagen-induced coagulant activity). These results indicate that platelet membranes contain an endogenous Factor XI-like activity that is functionally distinct from plasma Factor XI.
Myatt S. Lipscomb, Peter N. Walsh