Conformation-Dependent Blockage of Activated VWF Improved Outcomes of Traumatic Brain Injury in Mice.

Traumatic brain injury-induced coagulopathy (TBI-IC) causes life-threatening secondary intracranial bleeding. Its pathogenesis differs mechanistically from that of coagulopathy arising from extracranial injuries and hemorrhagic shock, but it remains poorly understood. We report results of a study designed to test the hypothesis that von Willebrand factor (VWF) released during acute TBI is intrinsically hyperadhesive because its platelet-binding A1-domain is exposed and contributes to TBI-induced vascular leakage and consumptive coagulopathy. This hyper-adhesive VWF can be selectively blocked by a VWF A2-domain protein to prevent TBI-IC and to improve neurological function with a minimal risk of bleeding. We demonstrated that A2 given through intraperitoneal injection or intravenous infusion reduced TBI-induced death by >50% and significantly improved the neurological function of C57BL/6J male mice subjected to severe lateral fluid percussion injury. A2 protected the endothelium from extracellular vesicle-induced injury, reducing TBI-induced platelet activation and microvesiculation, and preventing a TBI-induced hypercoagulable state. A2 achieved this therapeutic efficacy by specifically blocking the A1 domain exposed on the hyperadhesive VWF released during acute TBI. These results suggest that VWF plays a causal role in the development of TBI-IC and is a therapeutic target for this life-threatening complication of TBI.

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