In vivo antithrombotic properties of a heparin from the oocyte test cells of the sea squirt Styela plicata(Chordata-Tunicata)
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
In the ascidian Styela plicata, the oocytes are surrounded by two types of accessory cells named follicle cells and test cells. A heparin-like substance with an anticoagulant activity equivalent to 10% of mammalian heparin and about 5% as potent as the mammalian counterpart for the inhibition of thrombin by antithrombin was isolated from the oocyte test cells. In the present study, we compared the antithrombotic and hemorrhagic effects of sea squirt oocyte test cell heparin with those of
... ith those of porcine heparin in rat models of venous thrombosis and blood loss. Intravenous administration of the oocyte test cell heparin to Wistar rats (both sexes, weighing ~300 g, N = 4 in each group) at a dose of 5.0 mg/kg body weight, which produced a 1.8-fold increase in plasma activated partial thromboplastin time, inhibited thrombosis by 45 ± 13.5% (mean ± SD) without any bleeding effect. The same dose of porcine heparin inhibited thrombosis by 100 ± 1.4%, but produced a blood loss three times greater than that of the saline-treated control. However, 10-fold reduction of the dose of porcine heparin to 0.5 mg/ kg body weight, which produced a 5-fold increase in plasma-activated partial thromboplastin time, inhibited thrombosis by 70 ± 13% without any bleeding effect. The antithrombotic properties of a new heparin isolated from test cells of the sea squirt S. plicata, reported here for the first time, indicate that, although sea squirt oocyte test cell heparin was a poor anticoagulant compared to porcine heparin, it had a significant antithrombotic effect without causing bleeding.