Of the two cell types it was possible to culture from the dissociated rat liver, hepatocytes and Kupffer cells, only the former were fibrinolytically active. Rat hepatocytes during the first 24 hr in culture secreted two plasminogen activators with molecular weights identical to those found in rat plasma, an 80,000-dalton form (PA-80) and a 45,000-dalton form (PA-45). Partially purified preparations of plasminogen activators from both sources were subjected to isoelectric focusing (IEF) to compare characteristics further. There were three distinct peaks of PA-45 in each preparation with isoelectric points of 7.1, 7.2 and 7.4; all electrophoretic forms had the same low affinity to fibrin. PA-80 from both sources displayed similar IEF profiles with forms ranging from pH values of 7 to 8, all with the same high affinity to fibrin. The major form of PA-80 in the plasma preparation had an isoelectric point of 7.9 whereas that in the hepatocyte preparation had an isoelectric point of 7.6. The isolated perfused rat liver was also shown to produce both PA-80 and PA-45 emphasizing the physiological relevance of the findings with hepatocytes. It is concluded that in the rat hepatocytes contribute to the plasma profile with regard to the plasminogen activator content.
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