This report aims at exploring quantitatively the relationship between FXII inhibition and thromboprotection. FXII full and partial null in rats were established via zinc finger nuclease-mediated knockout and siRNA-mediated knockdown, respectively. The rats were subsequently characterized
in thrombosis and hemostasis models. Knockout rats exhibited complete thromboprotection in both the arteriovenous shunt model (∼100% clot weight reduction) and the FeCl3-induced arterial thrombosis model (no reduction in blood flow), without any increase in cuticle bleeding
time compared with wild-type control rats. Ex-vivo aPTT and the ellagic acid-triggered thrombin generation assay (TGA) exhibited anticoagulant changes. In contrast, ex-vivo PT or high tissue factor-triggered TGA was indistinguishable from control. Rats receiving single doses (0, 0.01, 0.03,
0.1, 0.3, 1 mg/kg) of FXII siRNA exhibited dose-dependent knockdown in liver FXII mRNA and plasma FXII protein (95 and 99%, respectively, at 1 mg/kg) at day 7 post dosing. FXII knockdown was associated with dose-dependent thromboprotection (maximal efficacy achieved with 1 mg/kg
in both models) and negligible change in cuticle bleeding times. Ex-vivo TGA triggered with low-level (0.5 μmol/l) ellagic acid tracked best with the knockdown levels and efficacy. Our findings confirm and extend literature reports of an attractive benefit-to-risk profile of targeting
FXII for antithrombotic therapies. Titrating of FXII is instructive for its pharmacological inhibition. The knockout rat is valuable for evaluating both mechanism-based safety concerns and off-target effects of FXII(a) inhibitors. Detailed TGA analyses will inform on optimal trigger conditions
in studying pharmacodynamic effects of FXII(a) inhibition.
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Document Type: Research Article
In Vivo Pharmacology
Genetically Engineered Models, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Kenilworth, New Jersey
RNA Therapeutics; Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., West Point, Pennsylvania, USA
Cardiometabolic Diseases, Current affiliation: Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
December 1, 2015