Systemic antithrombotic effects of ADAMTS13. Academic Article uri icon


  • The metalloprotease ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin-like and metalloprotease with thrombospondin type I repeats 13) cleaves highly adhesive large von Willebrand factor (VWF) multimers after their release from the endothelium. ADAMTS13 deficiency is linked to a life-threatening disorder, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), characterized by platelet-rich thrombi in the microvasculature. Here, we show spontaneous thrombus formation in activated microvenules of Adamts13-/- mice by intravital microscopy. Strikingly, we found that ADAMTS13 down-regulates both platelet adhesion to exposed subendothelium and thrombus formation in injured arterioles. An inhibitory antibody to ADAMTS13 infused in wild-type mice prolonged adhesion of platelets to endothelium and induced thrombi formation with embolization in the activated microvenules. Absence of ADAMTS13 did not promote thrombi formation in alphaIIbbeta3 integrin-inhibited blood. Recombinant ADAMTS13 reduced platelet adhesion and aggregation in histamine-activated venules and promoted thrombus dissolution in injured arterioles. Our findings reveal that ADAMTS13 has a powerful natural antithrombotic activity and recombinant ADAMTS13 could be used as an antithrombotic agent.

publication date

  • March 20, 2006