Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein in plasma may one day change transfusions

Date:
September 2, 2014
Source:
St. Michael's Hospital
Summary:
When someone is bleeding, a blood clot is a positive response -- the body forms the clot as a plug to stop bleeding. But when blood clots form in the absence of an injury, those clots can be life-threatening. Excessive blood clots in arteries and the brain are the main cause of heart attack and stroke. Researchers found that fibronectin can actually switch its function from stopping bleeding to stopping overactive blood clots.

"Most treatments that help the body stop bleeding can actually cause blood clots and many treatments to prevent excessive blood clots increase risk of bleeding out," said Dr. Heyu Ni, the principal investigator and a scientist in the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science of St. Michael's Hospital.
Credit: St. Michael's Hospital

In injured mice, the naturally occurring protein fibronectin is instrumental in stopping bleeding but interestingly also at preventing life-threatening blood clots -- according to new research published today in Journal of Clinical Investigation.

When someone is bleeding, a blood clot is a positive response -- the body forms the clot as a plug to stop bleeding. But when blood clots form in the absence of an injury, those clots can be life-threatening. Excessive blood clots in arteries and the brain are the main cause of heart attack and stroke.

Researchers found that fibronectin can actually switch its function from stopping bleeding to stopping overactive blood clots.

"Most treatments that help the body stop bleeding can actually cause blood clots and many treatments to prevent excessive blood clots increase risk of bleeding out," said Dr. Heyu Ni, the principal investigator and a scientist in the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science of St. Michael's Hospital. "But when given to mice after an injury or to mice treated with blood thinners -- which frequently lead to bleeding complications -- fibronectin seems to offer a win-win solution."

More clinical studies are required to determine whether fibronectin -- one of many proteins found in blood -- plays a similar role in people. Dr. Ni's research shows that fibronectin may actually be the body's first response to prevent bleeding at an injured blood vessel.

This discovery highlights a possible new research direction for bleeding control and may be most relevant for surgery and traumatic injuries, which often require a large amount of blood transfusions.

"Blood transfusions carry risk of heart attack and stroke, especially in surgical patients, so researchers and clinicians around the world are experimenting with different forms of blood product to determine which is best for transfusions," said Dr. Ni, who is also a scientist with Canadian Blood Services.

At this point, however, experts disagree about what blood products are most beneficial for the control of bleeding. The most common form of blood product used in Canada is processed by testing and preserving donor blood. Other forms of blood product are more heavily refined; one such product is refined by stripping away most of the proteins found in blood, including fibronectin, to create a concentrated form of a single blood protein -- fibrinogen.

"Fibrinogen has been shown to help the body stop bleeding, but our research indicates that less-refined blood products that include fibronectin and fibrinogen may help stop bleeding even more effectively," said Dr. Ni. "And, as an added bonus, fibronectin likely also reduces the risk of life-threatening blood clots from forming."

Debate concerning infection risks has led to some of the more processed blood products being withdrawn from a number of European countries but Canada, the United States, and England are still using them. The more heavily refined blood products, including concentrated fibrinogen, have been approved by many countries but are only available in Canada through Health Canada's special access program.

"There is a lot of work to be done but we might find that the less expensive and less processed form of donor blood may be more effective for transfusions," said Dr. Ni. "We've shown that fibronectin might play a role in improving results from transfusions and should not be discarded during blood product processing. It may be also an important protein in transfusions for stopping bleeding, particularly for patients who receive blood thinners during surgeries."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Michael's Hospital. The original article was written by Geoff Koehler. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yiming Wang, Adili Reheman, Christopher M. Spring, Jalil Kalantari, Alexandra H. Marshall, Alisa S. Wolberg, Peter L. Gross, Jeffrey I. Weitz, Margaret L. Rand, Deane F. Mosher, John Freedman, Heyu Ni. Plasma fibronectin supports hemostasis and regulates thrombosis. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2014; DOI: 10.1172/JCI74630

Cite This Page:

St. Michael's Hospital. "Protein in plasma may one day change transfusions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 September 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902205337.htm>.
St. Michael's Hospital. (2014, September 2). Protein in plasma may one day change transfusions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902205337.htm
St. Michael's Hospital. "Protein in plasma may one day change transfusions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902205337.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins