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New family of lipids plays key role in clot formation

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Posted November 30, 2017

The new discovery could lead to novel ways of reducing the risk of excess clotting, called thrombosis, potentially preventing deaths from many killer diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and deep vein thrombosis.

Professor Valerie O’Donnell, Co-Director of Systems Immunity Research Institute at Cardiff University, and lead of the research said: “While clot formation is an essential response to injury, the formation of unwanted clots is central to many major killer diseases. The most obvious are stroke or heart attack where a blood clot blocks a vessel and causes oxygen deprivation and organ damage, but subtle changes in blood clotting are involved in many inflammatory diseases too, such as sepsis, diabetes and even cancer.”

The new lipids, formed by white cells and platelets in the blood, form a surface on cells helping a clot to develop more effectively.

After discovering the lipids and making them in the lab, the researchers carried out several tests with them, including adding them to plasma to see if they could change clotting activity, and observing how they affected bleeding in mice.  They found that mice that do not make these lipids bleed much more and are also protected against thrombosis. They also found that administering the lipids locally reduced bleeding.

ource: Cardiff University

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