Researchers identified a set of cells in the brainstem that helps the body to avoid cardiovascular collapse, and manipulating these cells in animals suffering severe blood loss prevented the cardiovascular collapse
Researchers at the University of Virginia investigating ways to deal with severe blood loss identified a set of cells in the brainstem that helps the body to avoid a sudden and fatal loss of blood pressure, which ultimately causes cardiovascular collapse. The research published in the journal Cell Reports on March 08, 2022 demonstrated that manipulation of these cells in animals suffering from severe blood loss prevented the cardiovascular collapse.
The newly identified set of cells is known as adrenergic C1 neurons was found to monitor blood pressure in rats and then this cell cluster became hyperactive when there was blood loss. As these neurons are connected to natural alarm of the body for blood loss, they boosted the activity of nerve to tighten blood vessels to maintain proper blood pressure. The team observed that the neurons became hyperactive when there is blood loss, however they became inactive when the blood loss was severe, which further led to cardiovascular collapse. This is considered as a sign of hemorrhagic shock where the whole body shuts down.
Furthermore, the team found that with the use of optogenetics, these neurons can be controlled using light and can be reactivated to restore the heart rate and blood pressure in rats suffering from severe blood loss. In conclusion, as per the team, these C1 neurons could help to deal with such conditions of severe blood loss, however, there is still more to learn about them. The research needs much more work to find out the reasons behind these neurons becoming inactive responding to severe blood loss. Nonetheless, findings of this research are a foundation to find answers to such questions.