Extracellular mitochondria released from traumatized brains induced platelet procoagulant activity

Zilong Zhao, Yuan Zhou, Tristan Hilton, Fanjian Li, Cha Han, Li Liu, Hengjie Yuan, Ying Li, Xin Xu, Xiaoping Wu, Fangyi Zhang, Perumal Thiagarajan, Andrew Cap, Fu Dong Shi, Jianning Zhang, Jing Fei Dong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Coagulopathy often develops soon after acute traumatic brain injury and its cause remains poorly understood. We have shown that injured brains release cellular microvesicles that disrupt the endothelial barrier and induce consumptive coagulopathy. Morphologically intact extracellular mitochondria accounted for 55.2% of these microvesicles, leading to the hypothesis that these extracellular mitochondria are metabolically active and serve as a source of oxidative stress that activates platelets and renders them procoagulant. In testing this hypothesis experimentally, we found that the extracellular mitochondria purified from brain trauma mice and those released from brains subjected to freeze-thaw injury remained metabolically active and produced reactive oxygen species. These extracellular mitochondria bound platelets through the phospholipid-CD36 interaction and induced α-granule secretion, microvesiculation, and procoagulant activity in an oxidant-dependent manner, but failed to induce aggregation. These results define an extracellular mitochondria-induced and redox-dependent intermediate phenotype of platelets that contribute to the pathogenesis of traumatic brain injury-induced coagulopathy and inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


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