Vascular Repair

Macrophages moonlight in brain bleeds

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Science  24 Jun 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6293, pp. 1531-1532
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6293.1531-f

Microbleeds, which occur when microvessels in the brain rupture, are associated with cerebrovascular disease, dementia, and normal aging. Their rapid repair helps the body avoid more serious damage. To better understand this process, Liu et al. used a high-energy laser to generate endothelial lesions in the brains of zebrafish and discovered that macrophages, better known for their role in inflammation in phagocytosis, help to repair ruptured cells. As observed through time-lapse imaging in live fish, a macrophage arrives at the lesion and extends a cellular appendage to each of the lesion's ends. The macrophage then generates mechanical traction forces that bring the two ruptured ends together for lesion repair.

Macrophages (green) help repair ruptured blood vessels (red/yellow) in the brain.

PHOTO: LIU ET AL.; IMMUNITY 44 (17 MAY 2016) © CELL PRESS

Immunity 17, 1162 (2016).

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