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Heparin, also known as heparin sodium, standard heparin, ungrouped heparin, heparin, regular heparin [RH], standard heparin [sh], unbroked sodium heparin [UFH].
Heparin is an anionic sulfated aminoglucan. It is a heterogeneous substance with an average molecular weight of 12 000 and exists on the surface of many main cells. Commercial heparin sodium was extracted from pig intestines or cattle lungs. Heparin is composed of non branched low sugar chains with different lengths. D-glucosamine and D-glucuronic acid (or l-iduronic acid) are linked by glycosidic chains to form the basic disaccharide repeat of heparin chain. There are many substitutions in the repeated disaccharide sequence. It includes: R1: H or - oso3 group, R2: SO3 or - coch3 group, so that a few disaccharides form pentose sequence. The molecular weight of heparin is 3-30kda (most chains are 13-15kda).
Although the length of polypeptide chain is different, only one third of polypeptide chain in heparin chain contains pentose structure which can bind to at Ⅲ. Pentose structure is randomly distributed in heparin chain, which is the anticoagulant and antithrombotic functional unit of heparin.