May 9, 2012

Blood discovery: JAM-A protein keeps blood clots in check

Blood discovery: University of Delaware researchers find that JAM-A protein keeps blood clots in check Read more:

This split-screen video shows, at left, the JAM-A protein at work in reducing a blood clot; at right, a blood clot grows unchecked in the absence of the JAM-A protein. The images were taken with an intravital microscope which enables scientists to view and image living cells and systems in real time at very high resolution. Only a small number of these high-tech tools are available in the U.S. Besides cardiovascular research, the intravital microscope can be used for studies of cancer, obesity, neuroscience and other biomedical fields.

Although a number of different proteins in blood have been shown to slow clot formation, JAM-A is a far more powerful clot inhibitor, Ulhas Naik, director of the Delaware Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Delaware, and his research team have discovered. Naik notes JAM-A could potentially be a biomarker doctors could use to determine if a patient is at higher risk for a heart attack or stroke.

The study, led by scientists at the University of Delaware, is reported in the journal Blood. The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health through the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the former National Center for Research Resources.

This page last reviewed on May 1, 2015