To evaluate possible hormonal regulators of the diurnal rhythm in fibrinolytic activity, we measured tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) activity, plasminogen activator inhibitor activity (PAI-1), t-PA antigen, insulin, cortisol, and catecholamines in 6 healthy males (age 34±5) every 2 hours for 24 hours. Fibrinolysis was characterized by a peak in PAI-1 activity and a trough in t-PA activity at 0600 h. PAI-1 activity increased 92% and t-PA activity decreased 56% between 2400 h and 0600 h. t-PA antigen (principally a measure of t-PA/PAI-1 complex), peaked at 0800 h. In comparison, insulin levels were lowest at night when PAI-1 activity was rising. The weak inverse correlation between insulin and PAI-1 activity (r = -0.28, p < 0.02), was not sufficient to explain the diurnal change in fibrinolysis. While cortisol demonstrated the expected circadian change, the increase in cortisol did not occur until 0400 h, 4-6 hours after the rise in PAI-1 and decrease in t-PA activity started. Supine resting plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine showed no circadian rhythm. From this data, we hypothesize that the increased level of PAI-1 in the morning consumes t-PA, leading to decreased t-PA activity and increased t-PA/PAI-1 complex. Further, we conclude that insulin, cortisol, and catecholamines are not responsible for the circadian rhythm of fibrinolysis.
- circadian rhythm
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine