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Exosomes after a stroke

A stroke appears to create a sticky situation inside the blood vessels of the brain that can worsen damage days, or even months, later.

Scientists found that after a stroke, exosomes travelling in the blood get activated and sticky and start accumulating on the lining of blood vessels.

Platelets, which enable blood to clot after an injury, start adhering to the now-sticky exosomes, causing a buildup that can effectively form another clot.

The scientists have also shown (in both stroke models and human blood vessels) that exosomes moving through the blood then pick up the unique and normally sticky peptide sequence, arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD), which can cause additional brain damage.

More typically, exosomes carry a negligible amount of RGD, a protein that’s important in holding together the extracellular matrix that helps cells connect and form tissue.

In the aftermath of a stroke, cells and the extracellular matrix both get damaged, and sticky RGD is set free.  

go.nature.com/2RdMg6O

Image credit | iStock

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