Common Blood Thinner Might Impair Natural Repair Process
Washington DC - Researchers report in a mouse study that they have found that central nervous system immune cells play a key role in repairing the blood-brain barrier.
The blood-brain barrier prevents harmful substances in the blood from getting into the brain. If that barrier is breached, the brain becomes vulnerable to infection and injury, the researchers explained.
In experiments with mice, scientists found that immune cells in the brain called microglia are crucial in repairing damage to the blood-brain barrier.
The researchers made small holes in the brain-blood barrier of mice and found that nearby microglia immediately started to repair the damage. In most cases, the brain-blood barrier was restored within 10 to 30 minutes, the researchers noted.
However, it's important to keep in mind that animal research doesn't always turn out the same way in humans.
"This study shows that the resident immune cells of the central nervous system play a critical and previously unappreciated role in maintaining the integrity of the blood-brain barrier," lead author Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, co-director, Center for Translational Neuromedicine, University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, said in a center news release.
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers saw that a particular receptor activated the microglia and directed them to the blood-brain barrier breach. The same receptor is also present on platelets and is one of the targets of blood-thinning drugs such as Plavix, the researchers noted. Continue>
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