We have used antibodies to human thrombomodulin isolated from placenta to investigate the distribution of this cofactor for protein C activation in human tissues. Thrombomodulin was found on endothelial cells of arteries, veins, capillaries, and lymphatics by immunocytochemical staining using an avidin-biotin peroxidase method. Thrombomodulin was not detected on sinusoidal lining cells of liver or on postcapillary high-endothelial venules of lymph node, although the latter contained another endothelial antigen, von Willebrand factor. Other cells noted to contain thrombomodulin antigen are those of the syncytiotrophoblast in placenta. The thrombomodulin in syncytiotrophoblast was primarily on the plasma membrane surface that forms the maternal blood sinus. Syncytiotrophoblast also stained with antibodies to von Willebrand factor, which implies that these cells have multiple endothelial functions. Thrombomodulin antigen was found in all organs studied, with the notable exception of brain.

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