Extrinsic (tissue-type) plasminogen activator (plasminogen activator) was isolated either as a single-chain or as a two-chain molecule from the culture medium of a human melanoma cell line. The thrombolytic activity of both molecular forms of activator was investigated in beagle dogs with an experimental femoral vein thrombosis and compared with that of urokinase. The 125I-fibrinogen-labeled thrombus was formed in an isolated 4-cm segment of the vein, aged for 30 min, and the thrombolytic substances were infused over a 4-h period. The degree of thrombolysis was measured 2 h later as the difference between the injected and recovered 125I. In six control animals with a saline infusion the extent of thrombolysis was 16.3 +/- 3.8% (mean +/- SEM), in five dogs receiving 100,000 IU urokinase, 17.4 +/- 3.7% (P less than 0.4) and in four dogs with 1,000,000 IU urokinase 40.6 +/- 4.8% (P less than 0.001). Infusion of 100.000 IU single-chain plasminogen activator in five dogs resulted in 3.5 +/- 7.8% lysis (P less than 0.05) and of 100,000 IU two-chain plasminogen activator in five dogs in 60.1 +/- 10.8% (P less than 0.001). Infusion of 300,000 IU one-chain plasminogen activator yielded 57.5% lysis and of the same amount of two-chain plasminogen activator 72.9%. Significant activation of plasminogen, consumption of alpha 2-antiplasmin, and fibrinogen breakdown in plasma was only observed in animals receiving the high doses of urokinase but not in the saline, plasminogen activator, or the low-dose urokinase groups. It is thus concluded that in this thrombosis model human extrinsic plasminogen activator has a higher specific thrombolytic effect that urokinase. Plasminogen activator also appears to induce thrombolysis without systemic fibrinolytic activation and fibrinogen breakdown.
C Korninger, O Matsuo, R Suy, J M Stassen, D Collen