L M Fink, J F Eidt, K Johnson, J M Cook, C D Cook, J Morser, R Marlar, C L Collins, R Schaefer and S S Xie
Department of Pathology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock.
An overview on the properties, actions and localization of thrombomodulin (TM) in situations of tissue injury and in selected tumors is presented. The localization and activity of TM after injury to vascular endothelium shows that following balloon catheter denudation of the endothelium of the rabbit aorta, the activity and immunohistochemical staining is markedly reduced. The functional and antigenic levels approach the control levels approximately one week after the initial injury. The results suggest that the neointimal smooth muscle cells express TM. This phenotypic plasticity of the neointimal smooth muscle cells may be important in conferring thrombo-resistance to the lumenal lining cells of vessels after injury. Studies are also reviewed on the use of soluble recombinant TM to prevent thrombosis after ligature of vessels in an experimental model. Further characterization on the immunohistochemical distribution of TM in normal tissues and tumors shows that staining with a monoclonal anti TM antibody can be very useful in separating mesotheliomas from pulmonary adenocarcinomas. These studies may lead to insights concerning the role of TM in tissue-injury-repair and tissue differentiation.