Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Trimming The Fat Boosts Blood Recovery After Marrow Transplant

Date:
June 15, 2009
Source:
Children's Hospital Boston
Summary:
Seeking ways to improve blood recovery after chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant, researchers have discovered that fat cells, which accumulate in bone marrow as people age, inhibit the marrow's ability to produce new blood cells. Their study suggests that blocking this fatty infiltration could help enhance patients' recovery after transplant.

Illustration of human bone marrow from Grey's Anatomy.
Credit: Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Seeking ways to improve blood recovery after chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have discovered that fat cells, which accumulate in bone marrow as people age, inhibit the marrow's ability to produce new blood cells. Their study, published online June 10 by the journal Nature, suggests that blocking this fatty infiltration could help enhance patients' recovery after transplant.

Related Articles


Patients who have had radiation or chemotherapy show fatty infiltration in their marrow, and it's known that the more fat cells, the less blood-forming activity the marrow engages in. What hasn't been clear is whether the fat cells actually influence blood formation, or simply fill in empty space in the marrow.

Working with mice, researchers led by George Q. Daley, MD, PhD, director of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Children's, and Olaia Naveiras, MD, PhD, of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Children's and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, looked at marrow from different parts of the skeleton, which vary in fat composition. They found that the relatively fat-rich tail bones had only 25 percent as many blood-forming stem cells and up to three times fewer specialized blood progenitors than did the leaner thoracic vertebrae.

In cell culture, the mere presence of adipocytes (fat cells) was enough to reduce proliferation of blood-forming cells. The fat cells seemed to somehow slow the natural cell cycle of the blood stem cells and progenitor cells.

"Our study contradicts the classical dogma that bone marrow adipocytes are merely space fillers," says Daley. "Rather, they make it harder to recover from chemotherapy or radiation because they actively suppress blood production. If we could prevent them from invading the bone marrow, patients might be able to recover faster from marrow and cord-blood transplants."

Mice that were treated with a compound that inhibits fat formation, or that were genetically incapable of forming fat cells, were quicker to build up their bone marrow after it was depleted by irradiation. In particular, they were quicker to build up the rapidly proliferating blood cell progenitors that are known in mice – as well as humans – to be the most important in surviving the immediate post-transplant period.

Several adipocyte inhibitors, such as PPAR-gamma inhibitors, are already being tested clinically against obesity, but might also serve as adjuvants to speed engraftment and recovery of the blood system after a bone marrow transplant, Daley says.

"We are now testing whether these anti-obesity drugs have a beneficial effect on blood formation in mice," says Naveiras. Meanwhile, further studies will address exactly how adipocytes inhibit blood formation at the molecular level.

Daley and Naveiras are also affiliated with Harvard Medical School, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The study was funded by the Barrie de la Maza Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the NIH Director's Pioneer Award, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital Boston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Olaia Naveiras, Valentina Nardi, Pamela L. Wenzel, Peter V. Hauschka, Frederic Fahey & George Q. Daley. Bone-marrow adipocytes as negative regulators of the haematopoietic microenvironment. Nature, 2009; DOI: 10.1038/nature08099

Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital Boston. "Trimming The Fat Boosts Blood Recovery After Marrow Transplant." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610133455.htm>.
Children's Hospital Boston. (2009, June 15). Trimming The Fat Boosts Blood Recovery After Marrow Transplant. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610133455.htm
Children's Hospital Boston. "Trimming The Fat Boosts Blood Recovery After Marrow Transplant." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610133455.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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