wall collagen alters two important clotting factors in the blood: Factor XII and the platelets. When Factor XII is disturbed, such as by coming into contact with collagen or with a wettable surface such as glass, it takes on a new molecular configuration that converts it into a proteolytic enzyme called "activated Factor XII." Simultaneously, the blood trauma also damages the platelets because of adherence to either collagen or a wettable surface (or by damage in other ways), and this releases platelet phospholipids that contain the lipoprotein called platelet factor 3, which also plays a role in subsequent clotting reactions.

2. Activation of Factor XI. The activated Factor XII acts enzymatically on Factor XI to activate this factor as well, which is the second step in the intrinsic pathway. This reaction also requires HMW (high-molecular-weight) kininogen and is accelerated by prekallikrein.

3. Activation of Factor IX by activated Factor XI. The activated Factor XI then acts enzymatically on Factor IX to activate this factor also.

4. Activation of Factor X—role of Factor VIII. The activated Factor IX, acting in concert with activated Factor VIII and with the platelet phospholipids and factor 3 from the traumatized platelets, activates Factor X. It is clear that when either Factor VIII or platelets are in short supply, this step is deficient. Factor VIII is the factor that is missing in a person who has classic hemophilia, for which reason it is called antihemophilic factor. Platelets are the clotting factor that is lacking in the bleeding disease called thrombocytopenia.

5. Action of activated Factor X to form prothrombin activator—role of Factor V. This step in the intrinsic pathway is the same as the last step in the extrinsic pathway. That is, activated Factor X combines with Factor V and platelet or tissue phospholipids to form the complex called prothrombin activator. The prothrombin activator in turn initiates within seconds the cleavage of prothrombin to form thrombin, thereby setting into motion the final clotting process, as described earlier.

Role of Calcium Ions in the Intrinsic and Extrinsic Pathways

Except for the first two steps in the intrinsic pathway, calcium ions are required for promotion or acceleration of all the blood-clotting reactions. Therefore, in the absence of calcium ions, blood clotting by either pathway does not occur.

In the living body, the calcium ion concentration seldom falls low enough to significantly affect the kinetics of blood clotting. But, when blood is removed from a person, it can be prevented from clotting by reducing the calcium ion concentration below the threshold level for clotting, either by deionizing the calcium by causing it to react with substances such as citrate ion or by precipitating the calcium with substances such as oxalate ion.

Interaction Between the Extrinsic and Intrinsic Pathways—Summary of Blood-Clotting Initiation

It is clear from the schemas of the intrinsic and extrinsic systems that after blood vessels rupture, clotting occurs by both pathways simultaneously. Tissue factor initiates the extrinsic pathway, whereas contact of Factor XII and platelets with collagen in the vascular wall initiates the intrinsic pathway.

An especially important difference between the extrinsic and intrinsic pathways is that the extrinsic pathway can be explosive; once initiated, its speed of completion to the final clot is limited only by the amount of tissue factor released from the traumatized tissues and by the quantities of Factors X, VII, and V in the blood. With severe tissue trauma, clotting can occur in as little as 15 seconds. The intrinsic pathway is much slower to proceed, usually requiring 1 to 6 minutes to cause clotting.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment