Author(s): JuhanVague I, Alessi MC, Vague P
Disturbances of the haemostatic system may favour the development of vascular damage and the final occlusion events in the progress of coronary heart disease (CHD). It has been shown recently in epidemiological studies, that increased concentration of several factors, mainly fibrinogen, factor VII, von Willebrand factor (vWF), and the fibrinolytic variables plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) and tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), can be considered as risk factors for CHD. As morbidity and mortality through coronary atherosclerosis are higher in type 2 diabetic patients than in nondiabetic subjects and as insulin resistance represents a situation which favours the development of atherothrombosis, evaluation of the haemostatic factors which are recognized as risk factors may be interesting to consider in these situations. In fact, it has been shown that the fibrinolytic parameters PAI-1 and t-PA antigen are strongly related to the metabolic disorder of insulin resistance, whereas the link with fibrinogen, factor VII, and vWF remains weak. Many cross-sectional studies conducted in different populations have shown that PAI-1 and t-PA antigen (which represents t-PA/PAI-1 complexes) are strongly correlated with insulin, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, body mass index, walst-to-hip ratio and blood pressure, and that the improvement of insulin resistance improves in parallel the metabolic abnormalities and the concentration of the fibrinolytic parameters. Attempts at explaining the elevated PAI-1 and t-PA antigen levels in the insulin resistance syndrome have involved many clinical and in vitro studies, in which the role of insulin, insulin propeptides, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) triglyceride, insulin resistance per se, glucose, and adipose tissue have successively been analysed and the main results of these studies are presented in this review. Due to recent experimental data from animal models of thrombosis, a pathogenic role of decreased fibrinolytic activity or increased PAI-1 levels can be proposed and could play a role in the development of vascular disease in subjects with Type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance.