Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stroke: news about platelets

03.08.2015

Platelets play a key role in strokes: They can even drive nerve cells in the brain into a kind of suicide mode, as scientists from the University of Würzburg now report in the journal "Blood".

A stroke typically develops as follows: A blood vessel supplying the brain with vital oxygen and nutrients is blocked by a blood clot, resulting in nerve cell death. Signs and symptoms of a stroke can include inability to move and speech problems.


After a stroke, platelets trigger apoptosis in nerve cells (left; dying nerve cells red; nuclei of healthy nerve cells blue). Without platelets, fewer nerve cells will go into apoptosis.

(Pictures: Peter Kraft / Christoph Kleinschnitz)

Platelets are a major constituent of these blood clots. They are small cell fragments that circulate in the blood vessels whose function is to stop bleeding and close wounds.

"Scientists have suspected platelets to play an important role in the development of strokes for quite some time. But their exact function was unknown until recently," says Professor Christoph Kleinschnitz, head of the Stroke Unit of the Department of Neurology of the Würzburg University Hospital.

Detrimental platelet factor

Together with colleagues from Tübingen and Belgium, the Würzburg researchers have now closed this knowledge gap. What's special about their discovery: They found out that platelets are harmful in different phases of the stroke.

In the early phase, the platelets release a special clotting protein called the Von Willebrand factor. As the scientists report in the renowned journal "Blood", this factor promotes clotting in the brain and aggravates the brain damage after a stroke.

Platelets can trigger apoptosis

But platelets are equally significant in the later phase of a stroke. In a further article in "Blood", the research team demonstrates that the platelets subsequently travel from the vessels into the brain tissue where they can directly damage the nerve cells.

"The underlying mechanism is called apoptosis," explains Dr Peter Kraft from the Department of Neurology of the Würzburg University Hospital. This is a kind of suicide programme of the nerve cells. It is activated once the platelets come into contact with the nerve cells. The researchers have proved that platelets are capable of triggering apoptosis in the brain for the first time ever.

Promising antibodies for therapy

"In order to develop new targets for therapy, it is crucial to understand how platelets behave in the various stages of the stroke," Professor Kleinschnitz explains. "We are pinning our hopes on novel antibodies that are capable of suppressing the harmful function of the platelets." In animal models, these antibodies still work even when they are administered as late as one hour after the stroke.

Moreover, the antibodies can mitigate the nerve-damaging effect of the Von Willebrand factor. And they cause the nerve cells to go into suicide mode less frequently. "So antibodies could target different causes of stroke and be beneficial to many patients," Kleinschnitz says. Before translating into actual therapies, however, additional investigations and safety tests will have to be conducted.

Their research was funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within the scope of the Würzburg Collaborative Research Center 688.

Two publications in "Blood"

“Platelets induce apoptosis via membrane-bound FasL”, Rebecca I. Schleicher, Frank Reichenbach, Peter Kraft, Anil Kumar, Mario Lescan, Franziska Todt, Kerstin Göbel, Tobias Geisler, Axel Bauer, Marcus Olbrich, Martin Schaller, Sebastian Wesselborg, Lorraine O’Reilly, Sven G. Meuth, Klaus Schulze-Osthoff, Meinrad Gawaz, Xuri Li, Christoph Kleinschnitz, Frank Edlich, and Harald F. Langer, Blood, 31 July 2015, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2013-12-544445

“While not essential for normal thrombosis and hemostasis, platelet-derived von Willebrand factor fosters cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury in mice”, Sebastien Verhenne, Frederik Denorme, Sarah Libbrecht, Aline Vandenbulcke, Inge Pareyn, Hans Deckmyn, Antoon Lambrecht, Bernhard Nieswandt, Christoph Kleinschnitz, Karen Vanhoorelbeke, Simon F. De Meyer, Blood, 24 July 2015, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2015-03-632901

Contact

Prof. Dr. Christoph Kleinschnitz, Department of Neurology of the Würzburg University Hospital, Phone: +49 931 201-23756, christoph.kleinschnitz@uni-wuerzburg.de

Robert Emmerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>