Endogenous factors and drugs that directly inhibit the action of THROMBIN, usually by blocking its enzymatic activity. They are distinguished from INDIRECT THROMBIN INHIBITORS, such as HEPARIN, which act by enhancing the inhibitory effects of antithrombins.
An endogenous family of proteins belonging to the serpin superfamily that neutralizes the action of thrombin. Six naturally occurring antithrombins have been identified and are designated by Roman numerals I to VI. Of these, Antithrombin I (see FIBRIN) and ANTITHROMBIN III appear to be of major importance.
A highly acidic mucopolysaccharide formed of equal parts of sulfated D-glucosamine and D-glucuronic acid with sulfaminic bridges. The molecular weight ranges from six to twenty thousand. Heparin occurs in and is obtained from liver, lung, mast cells, etc., of vertebrates. Its function is unknown, but it is used to prevent blood clotting in vivo and vitro, in the form of many different salts.