Blood coagulation & fibrinolysis : an international journal in haemostasis and thrombosis

Factor XII full and partial null in rat confers robust antithrombotic efficacy with no bleeding.

PMID 26192114


This report aims at exploring quantitatively the relationship between FXII inhibition and thromboprotection. FXII full and partial null in rats were established via zinc finger nuclease-mediated knockout and siRNA-mediated knockdown, respectively. The rats were subsequently characterized in thrombosis and hemostasis models. Knockout rats exhibited complete thromboprotection in both the arteriovenous shunt model (∼100% clot weight reduction) and the FeCl3-induced arterial thrombosis model (no reduction in blood flow), without any increase in cuticle bleeding time compared with wild-type control rats. Ex-vivo aPTT and the ellagic acid-triggered thrombin generation assay (TGA) exhibited anticoagulant changes. In contrast, ex-vivo PT or high tissue factor-triggered TGA was indistinguishable from control. Rats receiving single doses (0, 0.01, 0.03, 0.1, 0.3, 1 mg/kg) of FXII siRNA exhibited dose-dependent knockdown in liver FXII mRNA and plasma FXII protein (95 and 99%, respectively, at 1 mg/kg) at day 7 post dosing. FXII knockdown was associated with dose-dependent thromboprotection (maximal efficacy achieved with 1 mg/kg in both models) and negligible change in cuticle bleeding times. Ex-vivo TGA triggered with low-level (0.5 μmol/l) ellagic acid tracked best with the knockdown levels and efficacy. Our findings confirm and extend literature reports of an attractive benefit-to-risk profile of targeting FXII for antithrombotic therapies. Titrating of FXII is instructive for its pharmacological inhibition. The knockout rat is valuable for evaluating both mechanism-based safety concerns and off-target effects of FXII(a) inhibitors. Detailed TGA analyses will inform on optimal trigger conditions in studying pharmacodynamic effects of FXII(a) inhibition.