X. Long Zheng

Pediatrics, Pathology, Hematology

M.D. and Ph.D.
38.97

Publications

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    ABSTRACT: Severe deficiency of plasma ADAMTS13 activity causes thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), a life-threatening syndrome for which plasma is the only effective therapy currently available. As much as 5% of TTP cases are hereditary, resulting from mutations of the ADAMTS13 gene. Here, we report the efficacy and safety of recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 8 (AAV8)-mediated expression of a murine ADAMTS13 variant (MDTCS), truncated after the spacer domain, in a murine model of TTP. Administration of AAV8-hAAT-mdtcs at doses greater than 2.6 x 10(11) vg/kg body weight resulted in sustained expression of plasma ADAMTS13 activity at therapeutic levels. Expression of the truncated ADAMTS13 variant eliminated circulating ultralarge von Willebrand factor multimers, prevented severe thrombocytopenia, and reduced mortality in Adamts13(-/-) disease-prone mice triggered by shigatoxin-2. These data support AAV vector-mediated expression of a comparable truncated ADAMTS13 variant as a novel therapeutic approach for hereditary TTP in humans.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: Thienopyridine-derivatives (ticlopidine, clopidogrel, and prasugrel) are the primary antiplatelet agents. Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a rare drug-associated syndrome, with the thienopyridines being the most common drugs implicated in this syndrome. We reviewed 20 years of information on clinical, epidemiologic, and laboratory findings for thienopyridine-associated TTP. Four, 11, and 11 cases of thienopyridine-associated TTP were reported in the first year of marketing of ticlopidine (1989), clopidogrel (1998), and prasugrel (2010), respectively. As of 2011, the FDA received reports of 97 ticlopidine-, 197 clopidogrel-, and 14 prasugrel-associated TTP cases. Severe deficiency of ADAMTS-13 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with a thrombospondin type 1 motif, member 13) was present in 80% and antibodies to 100% of these TTP patients on ticlopidine, 0% of the patients with clopidogrel-associated TTP (p < 0.05), and an unknown percentage of patients with prasugrel-associated TTP. TTP is associated with use of each of the three thienopyridines, although the mechanistic pathways may differ.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis
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    Zheng XL

    Full-text · Dataset · Sep 2012
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    Zheng XL

    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012
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    ABSTRACT: Prevailing approaches to manage autoimmune thrombotic disorders, such as heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) include immunosuppression and systemic anticoagulation, though neither provides optimal outcome for many patients. A different approach is suggested by the concurrence of autoantibodies and their antigenic targets in the absence of clinical disease, such as platelet factor 4 (PF4) in HIT and β(2)-glycoprotein-I (β(2)GPI) in APS. The presence of autoantibodies in the absence of disease suggests that conformational changes or other alterations in endogenous protein autoantigens are required for recognition by pathogenic autoantibodies. In TTP, the clinical impact of ADAMTS13 deficiency caused by autoantibodies likely depends on the balance between residual antigen, i.e. enzyme activity, and demand imposed by local genesis of ultralarge multimers of von Willebrand factor (ULvWF). A corollary of these concepts is that disrupting PF4 and β(2)GPI conformation (or ULvWF oligomerization or function) might provide a disease-targeted approach to prevent thrombosis without systemic anticoagulation or immunosuppression. Validation of this approach requires a deeper understanding of how seemingly normal host proteins become antigenic or undergo changes that increase antibody avidity, and how they can be altered to retain adaptive functions while shedding epitopes prone to elicit harmful autoimmunity.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: We previously demonstrated that coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) accelerates proteolytic cleavage of von Willebrand factor (VWF) by A disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin type 1 repeats (ADAMTS13) under fluid shear stress. In this study, the structural elements of FVIII required for the rate-enhancing effect and the biological relevance of this cofactor activity are determined using a murine model. An isolated light chain of human FVIII (hFVIII-LC) increases proteolytic cleavage of VWF by ADAMTS13 under shear in a concentration-dependent manner. The maximal rate-enhancing effect of hFVIII-LC is ∼8-fold, which is comparable with human full-length FVIII and B-domain deleted FVIII (hFVIII-BDD). The heavy chain (hFVIII-HC) and the light chain lacking the acidic (a3) region (hFVIII-LCΔa3) have no effect in accelerating VWF proteolysis by ADAMTS13 under the same conditions. Although recombinant hFVIII-HC and hFVIII-LCΔa3 do not detectably bind immobilized VWF, recombinant hFVIII-LC binds VWF with high affinity (K(D), ∼15 nm). Moreover, ultra-large VWF multimers accumulate in the plasma of fVIII(-/-) mice after hydrodynamic challenge but not in those reconstituted with either hFVIII-BDD or hFVIII-LC. These results suggest that the light chain of FVIII, which is not biologically active for clot formation, is sufficient for accelerating proteolytic cleavage of VWF by ADAMTS13 under fluid shear stress and (patho) physiological conditions. Our findings provide novel insight into the molecular mechanism of how FVIII regulates VWF homeostasis.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin type 1 repeats-13) cleaves von Willebrand factor, thereby modulating thrombosis and inflammation. Low plasma ADAMTS13 activity is associated with cardiovascular events, including myocardial and cerebral infarction. Here, we investigated the role of ADAMTS13 in the development of early atherosclerosis in a murine model. Apolipoprotein E-null (ApoE(-/-)) and Adamts13-null (Adamts13(-/-)) ApoE(-/-) mice were fed with a high-fat Western diet for 12 weeks. Atherosclerotic lesions in the aorta and aortic roots were quantified after staining. Leukocyte rolling and adhesion onto cremaster venules after oxidative injury were determined by intravital microscopy. Although plasma cholesterol levels were largely similar in both groups, the extent of atherosclerotic lesions in the aorta en face and in the aortic roots in the Adamts13(-/-)ApoE(-/-) mice increased ≈ 5.5-fold (P=0.0017) and ≈ 6.1-fold (P=0.0037), respectively. In addition, the ratio of plasma high- to low-molecular-weight von Willebrand factor multimers increased ≈ 3-fold. The leukocyte rolling velocities were significantly reduced (P<0.001), with an increased number of leukocyte rolling (P=0.0026) and macrophage infiltration into the atherosclerotic lesions in the Adamts13(-/-)ApoE(-/-) mice. Our results suggest that ADAMTS13 plays a critical role in modulating the development of early atherosclerosis, likely through the proteolytic cleavage of ultra-large von Willebrand factor multimers, thereby inhibiting platelet deposition and inflammation.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
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    X Long Zheng
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    ABSTRACT: In this issue of Blood, Sorvillo and colleagues demonstrate that a macrophage mannose receptor (MR) on antigen-presenting cells facilitates uptake of ADAMTS13 antigen. 1 The findings provide the first hint on how ADAMTS13 antigen may be endocytosed, processed, and presented to immune T cells.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: Development of neutralizing Abs to blood coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) provides a major complication in hemophilia care. In this study we explored whether modulation of the uptake of FVIII by APCs can reduce its intrinsic immunogenicity. Endocytosis of FVIII by professional APCs is significantly blocked by mAb KM33, directed toward the C1 domain of FVIII. We created a C1 domain variant (FVIII-R2090A/K2092A/F2093A), which showed only minimal binding to KM33 and retained its activity as measured by chromogenic assay. FVIII-R2090A/K2092A/F2093A displayed a strongly reduced internalization by human monocyte-derived dendritic cells and macrophages, as well as murine BM-derived dendritic cells. We subsequently investigated the ability of this variant to induce an immune response in FVIII-deficient mice. We show that mice treated with FVIII-R2090A/K2092A/F2093A have significantly lower anti-FVIII Ab titers and FVIII-specific CD4(+) T-cell responses compared with mice treated with wild-type FVIII. These data show that alanine substitutions at positions 2090, 2092, and 2093 reduce the immunogenicity of FVIII. According to our findings we hypothesize that FVIII variants displaying a reduced uptake by APCs provide a novel therapeutic approach to reduce inhibitor development in hemophilia A.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is primarily caused by immunoglobulin G (IgG) autoantibodies against A Disintegrin And Metalloprotease with ThromboSpondin type 1 repeats, 13 (ADAMTS13). Nearly all adult idiopathic TTP patients harbor IgGs, which bind the spacer domain of ADAMTS13, a region critical for recognition and proteolysis of von Willebrand factor (VWF). We hypothesize that a modification of an exosite in the spacer domain may generate ADAMTS13 variants with reduced autoantibody binding while preserving or enhancing specific activity. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to generate a series of ADAMTS13 variants, and their functional properties were assessed. Of 24 novel ADAMTS13 variants, 2 (ie, M4, R660K/F592Y/R568K/Y661F and M5, R660K/F592Y/R568K/Y661F/Y665F) exhibited increased specific activity approximately 4- to 5-fold and approximately 10- to 12-fold cleaving a peptide VWF73 substrate and multimeric VWF, respectively. More interestingly, the gain-of-function ADAMTS13 variants were more resistant to inhibition by anti-ADAMTS13 autoantibodies from patients with acquired idiopathic TTP because of reduced binding by anti-ADAMTS13 IgGs. These results shed more light on the critical role of the exosite in the spacer domain in substrate recognition. Our findings also help understand the pathogenesis of acquired autoimmune TTP. The autoantibody-resistant ADAMTS13 variants may be further developed as a novel therapeutic for acquired TTP with inhibitors.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Blood
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    Dengju Li · Juan Xiao · Michele Paessler · X. Long Zheng
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    ABSTRACT: Immunoglobulin Gs (IgGs) against ADAMTS13 are major causes of acquired (idiopathic) thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). We report here a novel cell-based assay using glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored ADAMTS13 or variants expressed on cell membrane for assessment of autoantibodies in patients with TTP. We showed that IgGs from all 26 patients with acquired TTP bound to cells expressing a GPI anchored full-length ADAMTS13 (gFL) and a variant truncated after the spacer domain (gS). Also, IgGs from 25/26 (96.7%) of these TTP patients bound to cells expressing a GPI-anchored C-terminal fragment, TSP1 2-8 plus CUB (gT2C). In contrast, none of the 20 healthy blood donors showed detectable binding of their IgGs to the cells expressing gFL, gS, and gT2C. A moderate, but statistically significant correlation was observed between plasma concentrations of anti-ADAMTS13 IgG and positive cells expressing gFL (r=0.65), gS (r=0.67), and gT2C (r=0.42). These results suggest that the microtiter-plate assay and the cell-based assay may detect differential antigenic epitopes. Moreover, antigens clustered on cell membranes may enhance antibody binding affinity, thereby increasing analytical sensitivity. Finally, our assay was able to determine kinetic changes of plasma levels of anti-ADAMTS13 IgGs in TTP patients during plasma therapy. Together, our findings suggest that the novel cell-based assay may be applicable for rapid identification and mapping of anti-ADAMTS13 autoantibodies in patients with acquired TTP.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Thrombosis and Haemostasis
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    ABSTRACT: A disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin type 1 repeats-13 (ADAMTS13) inhibits platelet aggregation and arterial thrombosis by cleavage of von Willebrand factor. However, the structural components of ADAMTS13 required for inhibition of arterial thrombosis are not fully defined. Using recombinant proteins and a murine model, we demonstrated that an ADAMTS13 variant truncated after either the eighth thrombospondin type 1 repeat or the spacer domain inhibits ferric chloride-induced arterial thrombosis in ADAMTS13(-/-) mice with efficacy similar to that of full-length ADAMTS13. The results obtained from monitoring thrombus formation in carotid and mesenteric arteries were highly concordant. Further analyses by site-directed mutagenesis and human monoclonal antibody inhibition assay revealed that the Cys-rich and spacer domains of ADAMTS13, particularly the amino acid residues between Arg559 and Glu664 in the spacer domain, may be critical for modulation of arterial thrombosis in vivo. Finally, the thrombosis-modulating function of ADAMTS13 and variants/mutants was highly correlated with the von Willebrand factor-cleavage activity under fluid shear stress. Our results suggest that the amino terminus of ADAMTS13, specifically the variable region of the spacer domain, is crucial for modulation of arterial thromboses under (patho)physiological conditions. These findings shed more light on the structure-function relationship of ADAMTS13 in vivo and may be applicable for rational design of protein- or gene-based therapy of arterial thromboses.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
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    Yue Han · Juan Xiao · Erica Falls · X Long Zheng
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    ABSTRACT: Severe deficiency of plasma ADAMTS13 activity is a frequent finding in patients with hereditary and acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). To date, plasma ADAMTS13 activity is determined by cleavage of either predenatured von Willebrand factor (VWF) or small peptides derived from the VWF-A2 domain. The physiologic relevance of the assay results is uncertain. We sought to develop a novel shear-based assay to assess plasma ADAMTS13 activity and inhibitors. We also compared this assay with a fluorogenic peptide assay. We found that an incubation of purified plasma VWF with 0.5 to 1.0 µL of citrated plasma under constant vortexing at 2500 rpm for 60 minutes in the presence of 5 mmol/L CaCl(2) and 1.7 µmol/L ZnCl(2) and low concentration of NaCl resulted in the maximal cleavage of VWF. The cleavage product could be separated by a 2.5% agarose gel and detected by Western blotting. The assay revealed that plasma and recombinant ADAMTS13 are highly sensitive to inhibition by zinc and chloride ions. Under the optimal conditions, the shear-based assay appeared to be more sensitive than the guanidine-denaturization assay for determining plasma ADAMTS13 activity. Our fluid shear-based assay may be useful for investigating basic biologic function and regulation of ADAMTS13 metalloprotease. It may also be applicable for assessing plasma ADAMTS13 activity and inhibitors in TTP patients.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · Transfusion
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    T Colace · E Falls · X L Zheng · S L Diamond
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    ABSTRACT: In a focal injury model, platelets adhere and activate under flow on a collagen-coated surface, creating a field of individual platelet aggregates. These aggregates exhibit distinct structural characteristics that are linked to the local flow conditions. By combining image analysis techniques and epifluorescence microscopy, we developed a robust strategy for quantifying the characteristic instantaneous width and length of a growing platelet deposit. We have confirmed the technique using model images consisting of ellipsoid objects and quantified the shear rate-dependent nature of aggregate morphology. Venous wall shear rate conditions (100 s(-1)) generated small, circular platelet deposits, whereas elevated arterial shear rates (500 and 1000 s(-1)) generated platelet masses elongated twofold in the direction of flow. At 2000 s(-1), an important regime for von Willebrand Factor (vWF)-mediated recruitment, we observed sporadic platelet capture events on collagen that led to rapidly growing deposits. Furthermore, inter-donor differences were investigated with respect to aggregate growth rate. After perfusion at elevated shear rates (1000 s(-1)) for 5 min, we identified a twofold increase in aggregate size (81.5 ± 24.6 μm; p < 0.1) and a threefold increase in growth rate parallel to the flow (0.40 ± 0.09 μm/s; p < 0.01) for an individual donor. Suspecting a role for vWF, we found that this donor had a twofold increase in soluble vWF relative to the other donors and pooled plasma. Microfluidic devices in combination with automated morphology analysis offer new tools for characterizing clot development under flow.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Annals of Biomedical Engineering
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The hemostatic property of “fresh” whole blood (WB) has been observed in military application and cardiac surgery and is associated with reduced blood loss, transfusion requirements, and donor exposures. The time from donation to transfusion defining “fresh” has not been systematically studied. We undertook an in vitro study of coagulation properties of refrigerated WB stored for 31 days. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Twenty-one WB units were obtained from healthy volunteer donors and stored under standard AABB refrigerated conditions. Samples were obtained on the day after donation and again on Days 2, 4, 7, 11, 14, 17, 21, 24, and 31. Tests included complete blood count, pH, pO2, pCO2, glucose, lactate, thromboelastography (TEG), and platelet function by light transmission aggregometry (LTA). RESULTS: There was progressive decline in pH, pO2, glucose, and sodium, but progressive increase in potassium, pCO2, and lactate. TEG variables in all units were normal through Day 11; abnormal values in some variables in some units began on Day 14. Final aggregation levels exhibited no change from Day 1 to Day 21 with adenosine diphosphate and epinephrine, but a decline with collagen (Day 7) and ristocetin (Day 17). CONCLUSION: This in vitro study of coagulation properties demonstrates preservation of normal integrated coagulation function to a minimum of 11 days under standard conditions of refrigerated storage of WB for transfusion. These observations strongly suggest that the hemostatic quality of WB may extend beyond current transfusion practices. If confirmed clinically, this would increase availability and extend benefits of reduced donor exposure and transfusion requirements.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Transfusion
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    Christopher G Skipwith · Wenjing Cao · X Long Zheng
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have demonstrated that factor VIII (FVIII) or platelets alone increase cleavage of von Willebrand factor (VWF) by ADAMTS13 under mechanically induced shear stresses. We show in this study that the combination of FVIII and platelets at the physiological concentrations is more effective than either one alone. In the absence of FVIII, lyophilized platelets increase the formation of cleavage product by 2-3-fold. However, in the presence of physiological concentration of FVIII (1 nm), the formation of VWF cleavage product increases dramatically as a function of increasing platelets with the maximal rate enhancement of approximately 8-fold. Conversely, in the presence of a physiological concentration of lyophilized platelets (150 x 10(3)/microl), the half-maximal concentration of FVIII required to accelerate VWF proteolysis by ADAMTS13 reduces by approximately 10-fold (to approximately 0.3 nm) compared with that in the absence of platelets ( approximately 3.0 nm). Further studies using the FVIII derivative that lacks an acidic region (a3), an antiplatelet glycoprotein 1balpha IgG, and a purified recombinant VWF-A1 domain or glycoprotein 1balpha-stripped platelets demonstrate that the synergistic rate-enhancing effect of FVIII and platelets depends on their specific binding interactions with VWF. Our findings suggest that FVIII and platelets are cofactors that regulate proteolysis of multimeric VWF by ADAMTS13 under physiological conditions.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Type G immunoglobulins against ADAMTS13 are the primary cause of acquired (idiopathic) thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. However, the domains of ADAMTS13 which the type G anti-ADAMT13 immunoglobulins target have not been investigated in a large cohort of patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Sixty-seven patients with acquired idiopathic thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura were prospectively collected from three major U.S. centers. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay determined plasma concentrations of anti-ADAMTS13 type G immunoglobulins, whereas immunoprecipitation plus western blotting determined the binding domains of these type G immunoglobulins. Plasma anti-ADAMTS13 type G immunoglobulins from 67 patients all bound full-length ADAMTS13 and a variant truncated after the eighth TSP1 repeat (delCUB). Approximately 97% (65/67) of patients harbored type G immunoglobulins targeted against a variant truncated after the spacer domain (MDTCS). However, only 12% of patients' samples reacted with a variant lacking the Cys-rich and spacer domains (MDT). In addition, approximately 37%, 31%, and 46% of patients' type G immunoglobulins interacted with the ADAMTS13 fragment containing TSP1 2-8 repeats (T2-8), CUB domains, and TSP1 5-8 repeats plus CUB domains (T5-8CUB), respectively. The presence of type G immunoglobulins targeted against the T2-8 and/or CUB domains was inversely correlated with the patients' platelet counts on admission. This multicenter study further demonstrated that the multiple domains of ADAMTS13, particularly the Cys-rich and spacer domains, are frequently targeted by anti-ADAMTS13 type G immunoglobulins in patients with acquired (idiopathic) thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Our data shed more light on the pathogenesis of acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and provide further rationales for adjunctive immunotherapy.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2010 · Haematologica
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that ADAMTS13 spacer domain is required for cleavage of von Willebrand factor (VWF). However, the exact amino acid residues within this domain critical for substrate recognition are not known. Epitope mapping of anti-ADAMTS13 immunoglobulin G from patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and sequence alignment of the ADAMTS13 spacer domains of human, mouse, and zebrafish with these of human and murine ADAMTS1, a closely related member of ADAMTS family, have provided hints to investigate the role of the amino acid residues between Arg(659) and Glu(664) of the ADAMTS13 spacer domain in substrate recognition. A deletion of all these 6 amino acid residues (ie, Arg(659)-Glu(664)) from the ADAMTS13 spacer domain resulted in dramatically reduced proteolytic activity toward VWF73 peptides, guanidine-HCl denatured VWF, and native VWF under fluid shear stress, as well as ultralarge VWF on endothelial cells. Site-directed mutagenesis, kinetic analyses, and peptide inhibition assays have further identified a role for amino acid residues Arg(659), Arg(660), and Tyr(661) in proteolytic cleavage of various substrates under static and fluid shear stress conditions. These findings may provide novel insight into the structural-function relationship of ADAMTS13 and help us to understand pathogenesis of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and other arterial thromboses associated with compromised VWF proteolysis.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · Blood
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    X Long Zheng
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    ABSTRACT: In this issue of Blood, Kremer Hovinga and colleagues demonstrate that a lower level of initial plasmaADAMTS13activity (< 10%) is associated with higher risk of relapse in patients with TTP. Also, patients with a low plasma ADAMTS13 activity and high-titer inhibitor (≥ 2 BU) appear to have lower survival rate. These findings suggest a role for clinical testing of plasma ADAMTS13 activity and inhibitors in care of TTP patients.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease with an increasing incidence worldwide. Thrombocytopenia is a common finding in dengue virus (DV) infection; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here we provide the first evidence of a case of antibody formation against ADAMTS13 (ADAMTS13 inhibitor) in the course of a severe acute DV infection resulting in thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). The patient presented with classical dengue symptoms (positive epidemiology, high fever, myalgia, predominantly in the lower limbs and lumbar region for 1 week) and, after 11 days of initial symptoms, developed TMA. Clinical and laboratorial investigation of dengue and TMA was performed. The patient presented with ADAMTS13 inhibitor (IgG) during the acute phase of the disease, without anti-platelet antibodies detectable. Dengue infection had laboratorial confirmation. There were excellent clinical and laboratory responses to 11 serial plasma exchanges. Anti-ADAMTS13 inhibitor disappeared after remission of TMA and dengue resolution. No recurrence of TMA symptoms was observed after 2-year follow-up. Although the real incidence of dengue-related TMA is unknown, this case provides the basis for future epidemiologic studies on acquired ADAMTS13 deficiency in DV infection. The prompt clinical recognition of this complication and early installment of specific therapy with plasma exchange are likely to improve the outcome of severe cases of dengue.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · Transfusion

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