Factor XI (FXI) is an integral component of the intrinsic pathway of the coagulation cascade and plays a critical role in thrombus formation. Because its role in the pathogenesis of cerebral microembolic signals (MES) is unclear, this study used a potent and selective small molecule inhibitor of FXIa, compound 1, to assess the effect of FXI blockade in our recently established preclinical model of cerebral MES induced by FeCl3 injury of the carotid artery in male New Zealand White rabbits. Ascending doses of compound 1 were evaluated simultaneously for both carotid arterial thrombosis by a Doppler flowmeter and MES in the middle cerebral artery by a transcranial Doppler. Plasma drug exposure and pharmacodynamic responses to compound 1 treatment were also assessed. The effective dose for 50% inhibition (ED50) of thrombus formation was 0.003 mg/kg/h compound 1, i.v. for the integrated blood flow, 0.004 mg/kg/h for reduction in thrombus weight, and 0.106 mg/kg/h for prevention of MES. The highest dose, 3 mg/kg/h compound 1, achieved complete inhibition in both thrombus formation and MES. In addition, we assessed the potential bleeding liability of compound 1 (5 mg/kg/h, i.v., >1250-fold ED50 levels in arterial thrombosis) in rabbits using a cuticle bleeding model, and observed about 2-fold (not statistically significant) prolongation in bleeding time. Our study demonstrates that compound 1 produced a robust and dose-dependent inhibition of both arterial thrombosis and MES, suggesting that FXIa blockade may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for the reduction in MES in patients at risk for ischemic stroke.
- Copyright © 2017 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics