Therapeutic action of tranexamic acid in hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT): Regulation of ALK-1/endoglin pathway in endothelial cells
Africa Fernandez-L.1, Eva M. Garrido-Martin1, Francisco Sanz-Rodriguez1,3, Jose-Ramon Ramirez4, Carmelo Morales-Angulo2, Roberto Zarrabeitia2, Alfonso Perez-Molino2, Carmelo Bernabéu1, Luisa-María Botella1
1Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, Ramiro de Maeztu, Madrid, Spain; 2Unidad de HHT, Hospital de Sierrallana, Torrelavega, Santander, Spain; 3Facultad de Biología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; 4Anatomia Patológica, Hospital C
fibrinolysis, endothelial cells, HHT, endoglin, ALK-1, tranexamic acid
Recurrent epistaxis is the most frequent clinical manifestation of hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). Its treatment is difficult. Our objective was to assess the use of tranexamic acid (TA), an antifibrinolytic drug, for the treatment of epistaxis in HHT patients and to investigate in vitro the effects of TA over endoglin and ALK-1 expression and activity in endothelial cells.A prospective study was carried out on patients with epistaxis treated with oral TA in the HHT Unit of Sierrallana Hospital (Cantabria, Spain). Primary cultures of endothelial cells were treated with TA to measure the levels of endoglin and ALK-1 at the cell surface by flow cytometry. RNA levels were also measured by real-time PCR, and the transcriptional effects ofTA on reporters for endoglin, ALK-1 and the endoglin/ALK-1 TGF beta pathway were assessed.The results showed that the fourteen HHT patients treated orally withTA improved, and the frequency and severity of their epistaxis were decreased. No complications derived from the treatment were observed. Cultured endothelial cells incubated with TA exhibited increased levels of endoglin and ALK-1 at the protein and mRNA levels, enhanced TGF-β signaling, and improved endothelial cell functions like tubulogenesis and migration. In summary, oral administration of TA proved beneficial for epistaxis treatment in selected patients with HHT. In addition to its already reported antifibrinolytic effects, TA stimulates the expression ofALK-1 and endoglin,as well as the activity of the ALK-1/endoglin pathway.