Key Points

  • Antiphospholipid antibodies trigger coagulation and inflammatory signaling by dissociating an inhibited TF cell surface complex.

  • Myeloid cell-expressed TFPI specifically supports aPL-induced thrombosis.


Antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs) with complex lipid and/or protein reactivities cause complement-dependent thrombosis and pregnancy complications. Although cross-reactivities with coagulation regulatory proteins contribute to the risk for developing thrombosis in patients with antiphospholipid syndrome, the majority of pathogenic aPLs retain reactivity with membrane lipid components and rapidly induce reactive oxygen species-dependent proinflammatory signaling and tissue factor (TF) procoagulant activation. Here, we show that lipid-reactive aPLs activate a common species-conserved TF signaling pathway. aPLs dissociate an inhibited TF coagulation initiation complex on the cell surface of monocytes, thereby liberating factor Xa for thrombin generation and protease activated receptor 1/2 heterodimer signaling. In addition to proteolytic signaling, aPLs promote complement- and protein disulfide isomerase-dependent TF-integrin β1 trafficking that translocates aPLs and NADPH oxidase to the endosome. Cell surface TF pathway inhibitor (TFPI) synthesized by monocytes is required for TF inhibition, and disabling TFPI prevents aPL signaling, indicating a paradoxical prothrombotic role for TFPI. Myeloid cell-specific TFPI inactivation has no effect on models of arterial or venous thrombus development, but remarkably prevents experimental aPL-induced thrombosis in mice. Thus, the physiological control of TF primes monocytes for rapid aPL pathogenic signaling and thrombosis amplification in an unexpected crosstalk between complement activation and coagulation signaling.

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