Enhancement of pig embryonic implants in factor VIII KO mice: A novel role for the coagulation cascade in organ size control

Anna Aronovich, Dalit Tchorsh, Elias Shezen, Chava Rosen, Yael Klionsky, Sivan Cohen, Orna Tal, Uri Martinowitz, Helena Katchman, Smadar Eventov-Friedman, Ninette Amariglio, Jasmine Jacob-Hirsch, Gideon Rechavi, Yair Reisner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Very little is known about the mechanisms that contribute to organ size differences between species. In the present study, we used a mouse model of embryonic pig tissue implantation to define the role of host Factor VIII in controlling the final size attained by the implant. We show here that pig embryonic spleen, pancreas, and liver all grow to an increased size in mice that are deficient in the Factor VIII clotting cascade. Similar results were obtained using the transplantation model after treatment with the low molecular weight heparin derivative Clexane which markedly enhanced transplant size. Likewise, enhanced size was found upon treatment with the direct thrombin inhibitor Dabigatran, suggesting that organ size regulation might be mediated by thrombin, downstream of Factor VIII. Considering that thrombin was shown to mediate various functions unrelated to blood clotting, either directly by cleavage of protease-activated receptors (PARs) or indirectly by cleaving osteopontin (OPN) on stroma cells, the role of PAR1 and PAR4 antagonists as well as treatment with cleaved form of OPN (tcOPN) were tested. While the former was not found to have an impact on overgrowth of embryonic pig spleen implants, marked reduction of size was noted upon treatment with the (tcOPN). Collectively, our surprising set of observations suggests that factors of the coagulation cascade have a novel role in organ size control.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere8362
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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