The purpose of the present investigation was to explore the effects of well-defined flow conditions on the activity of tissue factor (TF) expressed on the surface of cultured rat vascular smooth muscle cells. Cells were cultured to confluence on Permanox brand slides and stimulated to express TF by a 90 min incubation with fresh growth medium containing 10 percent calf serum. The stimulated cells were then placed in a parallel plate flow chamber and perfused with Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution containing factor VIIa, factor X (FX), and calcium. The chamber effluent was collected and assayed for factor Xa (FXa) and the steady-state flux of FXa was calculated. The flux values were 68.73, 94.81, 139.75, 138.19, 316.82, and 592.92 fmole/min/cm2 at wall shear rates of 10, 20, 40, 80, 320, and 1280 s−1 respectively. The FXa flux depended on the wall shear rate to a greater degree than predicted by classical mass transport theory. The flux at each shear rate was three to five times less than that calculated according to the Leveque solution. These features of the experimental data imply nonclassical behavior, which may partially result from a direct effect of flow on the cell layer.

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