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.

Related Articles


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 December 21, 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 December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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