Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blood stem cells are influenced by their offspring

Date:
November 29, 2010
Source:
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Summary:
A new study has shown that mature blood cells can communicate with, and influence the behavior of, their stem cell "parents."

Dr Carolyn de Graaf has shown that mature blood cells can communicate with, and influence the behaviour of, their stem cell ‘parents’.
Credit: Image courtesy of Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

A new study by researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia, has shown that mature blood cells can communicate with, and influence the behaviour of, their stem cell 'parents'.

Related Articles


The discovery of a blood cell 'feedback loop' in the body opens up new avenues of research into diseases caused by stem cell disorders, and the potential for new disease treatments.

Dr Carolyn de Graaf and Professor Doug Hilton from the Molecular Medicine division and Professor Warren Alexander from the Cancer and Haematology division led the research.

Professor Hilton said the findings, published November 29 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, revealed a relationship between the blood cells that wasn't known to exist until now.

"We know that blood stem cells give rise to all the mature blood cells, but the standard assumption was that external factors control blood cell production and the two populations exist in isolation," Professor Hilton said.

"This study shows that the mature cells actually communicate back to the stem cells, changing their gene expression and influencing their behaviour."

The researchers found that blood cell disorders can cause disturbances in the feedback loop, with profound effects on the blood stem cells.

The discovery was made while studying the effect of the loss of Myb, a transcription factor that represses platelet production, in animal models.

Dr de Graaf said the loss of the Myb gene meant the animals had very high numbers of platelets in their blood, which caused changes in the signaling pathways that control stem cell maintenance.

"The stem cells, rather than being maintained in a 'resting state' until needed, were being told to continually cycle and produce mature blood cells," Dr de Graaf said. "The stem cells were eventually exhausted and blood disorders developed because there were not enough stem cells to produce new red and white blood cells."

The team used new generation genomic technologies to identify gene signatures in the blood stem cells that were caused by the defective signaling, these gene signatures could be used in the future to diagnose and help treat disease.

"If we can understand the genes important for stem cell maintenance and blood cell production, then we can start to look at ways of improving transplantation techniques and therapies for blood disorders," Dr de Graaf said.

Professor Hilton said that patients with stem cell failures could also potentially benefit.

"What we would like to do is to determine whether some of these stem cell failures are due to miscommunication between mature blood cells and stem cells, with the possibility of finding new ways to treat these disorders down the track," he said.

This study was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Cancer Council Victoria, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, Murigen Pty Ltd and the Australian Stem Cell Centre.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Carolyn A. De Graaf, Maria Kauppi, Tracey Baldwin, Craig D. Hyland, Donald Metcalf, Tracy A. Willson, Marina R. Carpinelli, Gordon K. Smyth, Warren S. Alexander, and Douglas J. Hilton. Regulation of hematopoietic stem cells by their mature progeny. PNAS, November 29, 2010 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1016166108

Cite This Page:

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. "Blood stem cells are influenced by their offspring." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129152429.htm>.
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. (2010, November 29). Blood stem cells are influenced by their offspring. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129152429.htm
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. "Blood stem cells are influenced by their offspring." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129152429.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
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