Regulation and Control of the Fibrinolytic System

  • H. Roger Lijnen
  • Désiré Collen
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 191)


Mammalian blood contains an enzymatic system, called the fibrinolytic system, that is capable of dissolving blood clots. This system comprises an inactive proenzyme, plasminogen, which can be converted to the active enzyme plasmin, that will degrade fibrin into soluble fibrin degradation products. Two immunologically distinct types of physiological plasminogen activators have been identified: the tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) and the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA). Inhibition of the fibrinolytic system may occur either at the level of the plasminogen activators, by plasminogen activator inhibitors (PAI-1 and PAI-2), or at the level of plasmin, mainly by α2-antiplasmin. Plasminogen activation may also be induced by an “intrinsic” pathway involving several proteins such as Factor XII, high molecular weight kininogen (HMWK) and prekallikrein.


Plasminogen Activator Deep Vein Thrombosis Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor Fibrinolytic System Plasminogen Activation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Roger Lijnen
    • 1
  • Désiré Collen
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Thrombosis and Vascular ResearchCampus Gasthuisberg, O & NLeuvenBelgium

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