By Amy Norton 

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 14, 2023 (HealthDay Information) — Lengthy durations of immobility can put folks vulnerable to harmful blood clots — but hibernating bears lie round for months with none drawback. Now scientists suppose they’ve discovered why.

The researchers hope the perception can ultimately result in new medication for stopping life-threatening blood clots — the sort that start within the legs however can journey to the mind and trigger a stroke, or to the lungs and trigger a pulmonary embolism.

Of their new examine, the researchers discovered that in hibernating bears, a selected protein — known as warmth shock protein 47 (HSP47) — is considerably dialed down from its regular exercise stage. And that seems to stop blood clots from forming whereas the animals are in months-long slumber.

Much more importantly, the investigators discovered, that phenomenon additionally happens in different species, together with people. Particularly, HSP47 exercise is low in folks paralyzed by spinal wire accidents.

Which will sound counterintuitive, since short-term immobility — recovering from an damage or surgical procedure, or taking a long-haul flight — can promote blood clots in some folks. Nevertheless it’s recognized that individuals with paralysis haven’t any greater blood clot danger than cellular folks do.

And the brand new findings counsel that HSP47 often is the key, the examine authors mentioned.

The hope is that the discovering will result in new methods to stop blood clots in weak folks, in line with Dr. Tobias Petzold, one of many researchers on the examine.

“We want to additional examine the mechanism by which HSP47 works in stopping (blood clots) in additional element,” mentioned Petzold, of Ludwig-Maximilians-College in Munich, Germany.

Some long-used medicines are already used for stopping blood clots in at-risk folks, together with old school aspirin. However, Petzold mentioned, they’ve unwanted effects, similar to an elevated danger of bleeding. So there’s nonetheless a must preserve trying to find medicines which might be extremely efficient however safer.

“We expect {that a} ‘pure’ blood thinner that the physique is able to mobilizing spontaneously may assist deal with that unmet scientific want,” Petzold mentioned.

Why flip to bears in that quest?

“We imagine that the bear is a strolling library of options to our sedentary way of life,” Petzold mentioned.

In spite of everything, he identified, hibernating bears spend a big portion of their waking lives feasting and packing on enormous quantities of weight, solely to then spend half the yr mendacity round doing nothing. For people, that is a digital recipe for weight problems, muscle loss, thinning bones, kind 2 diabetes and plenty of different well being issues — together with blood clots.

But bears emerge from their hibernation unscathed. Understanding what, precisely, protects them may theoretically level to fully new remedies for numerous human ailments associated to “trendy life,” Petzold mentioned.

Different researchers are finding out bears for that very cause.

A examine printed final yr by a Washington State College group recognized particular proteins that appear to assist defend hibernating grizzlies from diabetes.

People, it seems, have counterparts to these protecting proteins.

For the brand new examine, Petzold and his colleagues studied not solely brown bears, but additionally pigs that have been both cooped-up or free-roaming, and individuals who have been cellular or paralyzed by spinal wire accidents.

The researchers discovered that, on common, HSP47 from hibernating bears’ blood cells was decreased by 55 instances, versus active-season bears. An analogous sample was seen in each pigs and folks.

All of it means that HSP47 might be a superb goal for brand new medicines for folks at excessive danger of blood clots throughout shorter durations of immobility, in line with an editorial printed with the examine.

For the time being, researchers know much more in regards to the issues that set off clots than what protects in opposition to them, wrote Mirta Schattner, who research blood clotting mechanisms on the Nationwide Academy of Drugs in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In accordance with Schattner, the brand new examine “exhibits that nature is usually a good solution to study human biology.”

Blood clots, nevertheless, don’t solely kind when persons are immobilized, Schattner identified. Persistent well being situations like diabetes and numerous cancers can elevate the danger, too. So, she added, one query going ahead is whether or not this warmth shock protein is necessary to blood clotting in these circumstances, too.

The findings have been printed on-line April 13 within the journal Science.

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