After a brain hemorrhage, neural support cells called astrocytes enhance healing by transferring their mitochondria to damaged neurons. The healthy mitochondria stimulate the production of a free radical-fighting enzyme, according to new research published in The Journal of Neuroscience.
An artery in the brain bursts. Blood rushes into the tissue, inducing free radicals that cause even more damage. The hemorrhage damages mitochondria, the site of energy production in cells. Astrocytes transfer their mitochondria to damaged neurons after a hemorrhage. These healthy mitochondria contain a “healing” peptide called humanin and an enzyme called manganese superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) that help neutralize free radicals.
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