A new blood component has been discovered, Mitochondria are organelles found in eukaryotic cells. As cellular respiration places, they are the “batteries” of cells and play an important role in energy metabolism and in communication between cells.
Their uniqueness is that they have their own genome, which is transmitted exclusively by the mother and separated from the DNA contained in the cell nucleus.
Mitochondria can sometimes be seen outside the cell in the form of fragments encapsulated in microvesicles. Under certain very specific conditions, platelets can also excrete intact mitochondria into the extracellular space. now a new blood component has been discovered.
Scientists have used previous evidence to show that healthy human plasma contains up to 50,000 times more mitochondrial DNA than core DNA. They suggest that mitochondrial DNA must be protected by a structure that is stable enough to be detected and measured in the blood in this way.
Plasma samples from about 100 people were analyzed to identify such structures.
This analysis reveals the existence of a very stable structure in the circulatory system that contains the entire mitochondrial genome.
After examining their size and density and the integrity of their mitochondrial DNA, this structure, which was observed with an electron microscope (up to 3.7 million per ml of plasma), was identified as a functioning and functioning mitochondria.
During the seven-year study, scientists used as many technical and methodological approaches as possible to confirm the presence of extracellular mitochondria circulating in the blood. When we look at the net amount of extracellular mitochondria in the blood, we have to wonder why such a discovery has never been made before.
Our team has experience in the detection of specific and sensitive DNA in the blood and has worked to break down extracellular DNA obtained from mitochondria.
What is the role of this extracellular mitochondria? The answer may be related to the structure of mitochondrial DNA, which is similar to bacterial DNA and has the ability to trigger an immune and inflammatory response. Based on these observations, the researchers assume that this circulating mitochondria can be involved in many physiological and / or pathological processes that require inter-cell communication (such as inflammatory mechanisms).
In fact, recent research shows the ability of certain cells to transmit mitochondria to each other, such as stem cells with damaged cells.
Extracellular mitochondria can act as messengers for the whole body, “Thierry explained. In addition to the importance for our physiological knowledge, these findings can lead to improvements in the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of certain diseases.
In fact, the research team has focused on evaluating extracellular mitochondria as a biomarker for prenatal diagnosis and non-invasive cancer.