Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Approximately 20-25% of TBI subjects develop Acute Lung Injury (ALI), but the pathomechanisms of TBI-induced ALI remain poorly defined. Currently, mechanical ventilation is the only therapeutic intervention for TBI-induced lung injury. Our recent studies have shown that the inflammasome plays an important role in the systemic inflammatory response leading to lung injury-post TBI. Here, we outline the role of the extracellular vesicle (EV)-mediated inflammasome signaling in the etiology of TBI-induced ALI. Furthermore, we evaluate the efficacy of a low molecular weight heparin (Enoxaparin, a blocker of EV uptake) and a monoclonal antibody against apoptosis speck-like staining protein containing a caspase recruitment domain (anti-ASC) as therapeutics for TBI-induced lung injury. We demonstate that activation of an EV-mediated Neural-Respiratory Inflammasome Axis plays an essential role in TBI-induced lung injury and disruption of this axis has therapeutic potential as a treatment strategy.
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