Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene At Intersection Of Stem Cells, Immunity

Date:
February 26, 2008
Source:
Baylor College of Medicine
Summary:
A gene that "wakes up" the blood system's stem cells in times of stress also plays an important role in protecting against infection, said researchers in the journal Cell Stem Cell. Researchers note that it makes sense that a serious infection with a pathogen or disease-causing organism could require that stem cells rally to generate new blood cells to fight against the invading organisms.

A gene that "wakes up" the blood system's stem cells in times of stress also plays an important role in protecting against infection, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and Duke University Medical School in a report that appears in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

When Dr. Margaret Goodell, professor of pediatrics and director of BCM's Stem Cells and Regeneration (STaR) Center, and her colleagues infected mice that lacked the gene interferon-inducible GTPase Lrg-47 with a bacteria akin to tuberculosis, they found that stem cells did not initiate the process of making blood cells to protect against the infection.

Stress response

"It suggests that this gene might have a role in normal blood production, but its main role is in stress response," she said. "It's really involved in recovery from a toxic drug or infection or regenerating a blood system after a bone marrow transplant."

It makes sense that a serious infection with a pathogen or disease-causing organism could require that stem cells rally to generate new blood cells to fight against the invading organisms.

"In the mice with the defective gene, the stem cells could not wake up," said Goodell. "It is the first time anyone has a shown a link between infection and activating stem cells."

"You probably have to activate the stem cells to make all your blood cells. This gene might be a link in that system," she said.

"What was surprising was that this gene was regulated by interferon gamma," she said. "These proteins are well known because they regulate the immune system."

Surprise finding

Finding the interferon-inducible GTPase Lrg-47 in stem cells was a surprise, she said. "Maybe it is a way of the immune system talking to stem cells."

Collaborating with the NIAID team helped answer the question. They had bred mice to lack the gene and shown that these mice died of an infection that normal mice could easily control. The team in Bethesda, Maryland, noted that the mice had low blood counts.

They shared their mice with the BCM team who looked at the animals' stem cell biology. The mice with the defective gene had stem cells that did not function well. Under normal conditions, they could make blood. However, when stressed by a chemical or disease-causing organism that attacked the blood cells, the stem cells did not recover quickly.

When Goodell and her colleagues tried to do a bone marrow transplant with the mice, it did not work.

"There were almost completely incapable of regenerating the blood system in another mouse," she said.

In the future, she said, she and her colleagues want to study why this gene has such an impact on stem cells. It will also help delineate the role of interferons in the cell.

Others who took part in this work include Drs. Carl G. Feng and Alan Sher of NIAID, David C. Weksberg of BCM and Dr. Gregory A. Taylor of Duke.

Funding for this work comes from the National Institutes of Health and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The article is available at http://www.cellstemcell.com/content/article/abstract?uid=PIIS193459090700224X&highlight=goodell.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Baylor College of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Baylor College of Medicine. "Gene At Intersection Of Stem Cells, Immunity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080224142524.htm>.
Baylor College of Medicine. (2008, February 26). Gene At Intersection Of Stem Cells, Immunity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080224142524.htm
Baylor College of Medicine. "Gene At Intersection Of Stem Cells, Immunity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080224142524.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins