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.

Related Articles


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 December 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 December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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