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Stop the bleeding: New way to restore numbers of key blood-clotting cells

Date:
October 26, 2010
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Platelets are cells in the blood that have a key role in stopping bleeding. Thrombocytopenia is the medical term used to describe the presence of abnormally low numbers of platelets in the blood. Platelet transfusion is used to treat several causes of thrombocytopenia, but there is a shortage of donors. However, researchers have now identified a potential new approach to platelet replacement therapy that circumvents the problem of donor shortage.

Platelets are cells in the blood that have a key role in stopping bleeding. Thrombocytopenia is the medical term used to describe the presence of abnormally low numbers of platelets in the blood. Platelet transfusion is used to treat several causes of thrombocytopenia, but there is a shortage of donors.

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Mortimer Poncz and colleagues, at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, working with mice, have now identified a potential new approach to platelet replacement therapy that circumvents the problem of donor shortage.

Platelets in the blood arise from cells known as megakaryocytes. In the study, Poncz and colleagues found that mature megakaryocytes that were infused into mice could generate platelets of normal size and function. They therefore are hopeful that it might be possible to treat individuals with thrombocytopenia through mature megakaryocyte infusion, although they estimate that 10^9 mature megakaryocytes might be needed for an average 70-kg patient.

Although Andrew Leavitt, at the University of California, San Francisco, notes in an accompanying commentary, that this might be a low estimate, he discuses why the new data generated by Poncz and colleagues are an important step forward in identifying new approaches to platelet replacement therapy.

The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Rudy Fuentes, Yuhuan Wang, Jessica Hirsch, Cheng Wang, Lubica Rauova, G. Scott Worthen, M. Anna Kowalska, Mortimer Poncz. Infusion of mature megakaryocytes into mice yields functional platelets. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2010; DOI: 10.1172/JCI43326
  2. Andrew D. Leavitt. Are there more tricks in the bag for treating thrombocytopenia? Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2010; DOI: 10.1172/JCI45179

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Stop the bleeding: New way to restore numbers of key blood-clotting cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025123900.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2010, October 26). Stop the bleeding: New way to restore numbers of key blood-clotting cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025123900.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Stop the bleeding: New way to restore numbers of key blood-clotting cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025123900.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

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