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OBJECTIVES: To determine if polymorphisms of the tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) gene influence acute endogenous t-PA release in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). METHODS: Forearm blood flow and plasma t-PA concentrations were measured in response to intra-brachial infusion of substance P and sodium nitroprusside in 96 patients with stable CHD. Genotyping was performed using a Taqman polymerase chain reaction assay specifically designed to detect the polymorphisms of interest: (i) Alu-repeat insertion/deletion sequence; (ii) C-->T substitution in an upstream enhancer region (-7351 C/T); (iii) T-->C in exon 6 (20 099 T/C); and (iv) T-->A (27 445 T/A) in intron 10. RESULTS: Substance P and sodium nitroprusside caused dose-dependent increases in forearm blood flow in all patients (P < 0.001 for all) that were independent of the four genetic polymorphisms. Similarly, there were no differences in basal plasma t-PA antigen concentrations or net t-PA release between genotypes. Compared to non-smokers, smokers exhibited impaired substance P-induced vasodilatation (P < 0.001) and t-PA release (P = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Despite confirming our previous findings in cigarette smokers, we have found no effect of polymorphisms of the t-PA gene on two complementary aspects of endothelial function. We conclude that genetic variation of the t-PA locus is unlikely to have a major influence on acute t-PA release in subjects with established CHD.

Original publication




Journal article


J thromb haemost

Publication Date





2262 - 2269


Aged, Coronary Disease, Female, Fibrinolysis, Gene Deletion, Genotype, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Nitroprusside, Polymorphism, Genetic, Substance P, Tissue Plasminogen Activator