ADAMTS13 is expressed in hepatic stellate cells

Wenhua Zhou, Mari Inada, Tai Ping Lee, Daniel Benten, Sergey Lyubsky, Eric E. Bouhassira, Sanjeev Gupta, Han Mou Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations


ADAMTS13 is a circulating zinc metalloprotease that cleaves the hemostatic glycoprotein von Willebrand factor (VWF) in a shear-dependent manner. Deficiency in ADAMTS13, owing to genetic mutations or autoimmune inhibitors, causes thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TPP). Northern blot analysis has shown that ADAMTS13 is expressed primarily in the liver. By using real-time RT-PCR, we confirmed that in mice the liver had the highest level of the ADAMTS13 transcript. To identify the liver cell-type-specific origin of ADAMTS13, we used in situ hybridization techniques to investigate the pattern of ADAMTS13 expression in the liver; analyzed the ADAMTS13 proteolytic activity in the culture media of fractionated liver cells; and confirmed ADAMTS13 expression with RT-PCR analysis and cloning of the mouse ADAMTS13 gene. The results revealed that ADAMTS13 was expressed primarily in cell fractions enriched in hepatic stellate cells. The mouse ADAMTS13 cloned from primary hepatic stellate cells was similar to its human counterpart in digesting VWF and was susceptible to suppression by EDTA or the IgG inhibitors of patients with TTP. Since hepatic stellate cells are believed to play a major role in the development of hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis, the identification of the liver cell-type expressing ADAMTS13 will have important implications for understanding pathophysiological mechanisms regulating ADAMTS13 expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)780-788
Number of pages9
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • ADAMTS13
  • Hepatic stellate cell
  • Metalloprotease
  • Von Willebrand factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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