Jeffrey S. Buzby, Shirley A. Williams, Karen L. Imfeld, Thomas J. Kunicki, Diane J. Nugent
Objective and design: Variable tissue factor (TF) expression by human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC) may be regulated by two promoter haplotypes, distinguished by an 18-basepair deletion (D) or insertion (I) at −1,208. We sought to determine the relationship between these haplotypes and interleukin-1α (IL-1α)-induced TF expression in neonatal versus adult HMVEC.
Results: IL-1-stimulated TF mRNA, protein, and activity were significantly higher in neonatal compared to adult D/D donors. IL-1-stimulated HMVEC from neonatal D/D donors expressed threefold higher levels of TF mRNA, twofold higher TF protein, and fourfold increased TF activity compared to HMVEC from adult D/D donors. These results indicate that homozygosity for the D haplotype is characterized by increased response to IL-1 in neonates, but not adults. IL-1 induced increased phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), which was significantly greater in neonatal compared to adult HMVEC. Moreover, inhibition of the p38 MAPK pathway reduced IL-1-stimulated TF mRNA expression in D/D neonatal but not adult HMVEC.
Conclusions: Upregulation of D/D neonatal HMVEC TF expression by IL-1 is mediated through the p38 MAPK pathway. This heightened response of D/D neonatal HMVEC to inflammatory stimuli may contribute to increased microvascular coagulopathies in susceptible newborn infants