2012 Volume 19 Issue 11 Pages 962-969
Aim: Factor VII activating protease (FSAP) is a plasma serine protease involved in hemostasis and remodeling processes. Increased levels of circulating FSAP during pregnancy and in women using oral contraceptives (OCs) indicate that the hormonal status critically influences FSAP expression. In this respect, the aim of this study was to quantify nicotine modulation of FSAP expression in human monocytes/macrophages isolated from healthy female smokers and non-smokers, and from women who use OCs and smoke.
Methods: FSAP concentration and activity were measured in plasma samples obtained from healthy non-pregnant, pre-menopausal, non-smoking women who did not use OCs (n=69), non-pregnant, pre-menopausal women who currently smoke and use OCs (n=43), and women who are only smokers (n=40) or currently use OCs (n=48). Expressions of FSAP mRNA and protein in monocytes isolated from healthy non-pregnant female or healthy male donors were analyzed.
Results: Strongest circulating FSAP concentration and activity occurred in women with combined smoking and use of OCs compared to the control group. Enhanced FSAP levels were also observed in smoking women when compared to non-smokers. Ex vivo experiments demonstrated enhanced FSAP expression in monocytes isolated from women using OCs and currently smoking. Nicotine enhanced FSAP mRNA and protein levels in monocytes.
Conclusions: Monocytes from healthy female smokers show a constitutively enhanced FSAP expression and this effect could be replicated in vitro by stimulating monocytes with nicotine. The upregulation of FSAP due to nicotine and OC usage may be linked to a higher incidence of arteriothromboembolic diseases related to their usage.