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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biochemistry - Computer Science - Hematology

Defining the Boundaries of Normal Thrombin Generation: Investigations into Hemostasis
Published: Thursday, February 02, 2012
Author: Christopher M. Danforth et al.

by Christopher M. Danforth, Thomas Orfeo, Stephen J. Everse, Kenneth G. Mann, Kathleen E. Brummel-Ziedins

In terms of its soluble precursors, the coagulation proteome varies quantitatively among apparently healthy individuals. The significance of this variability remains obscure, in part because it is the backdrop against which the hemostatic consequences of more dramatic composition differences are studied. In this study we have defined the consequences of normal range variation of components of the coagulation proteome by using a mechanism-based computational approach that translates coagulation factor concentration data into a representation of an individual's thrombin generation potential. A novel graphical method is used to integrate standard measures that characterize thrombin generation in both empirical and computational models (e.g max rate, max level, total thrombin, time to 2 nM thrombin (“clot time”)) to visualize how normal range variation in coagulation factors results in unique thrombin generation phenotypes. Unique ensembles of the 8 coagulation factors encompassing the limits of normal range variation were used as initial conditions for the computational modeling, each ensemble representing “an individual” in a theoretical healthy population. These “individuals” with unremarkable proteome composition was then compared to actual normal and “abnormal” individuals, i.e. factor ensembles measured in apparently healthy individuals, actual coagulopathic individuals or artificially constructed factor ensembles representing individuals with specific factor deficiencies. A sensitivity analysis was performed to rank either individual factors or all possible pairs of factors in terms of their contribution to the overall distribution of thrombin generation phenotypes. Key findings of these analyses include: normal range variation of coagulation factors yields thrombin generation phenotypes indistinguishable from individuals with some, but not all, coagulopathies examined; coordinate variation of certain pairs of factors within their normal ranges disproportionately results in extreme thrombin generation phenotypes, implying that measurement of a smaller set of factors may be sufficient to identify individuals with aberrant thrombin generation potential despite normal coagulation proteome composition.
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