Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How long do stem cells live?

Date:
March 4, 2011
Source:
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Summary:
A unique computer model calculates how long a blood stem cell will live, information that could predict the outcome of bone marrow transplants.

When patients receive a bone marrow transplant, they are getting a new population of hematopoietic stem cells. Fresh stem cells are needed when a patient is low on red blood cells, as in anemia, or white blood cells, which can be caused by cancer or even cancer treatments such as irradiation or chemotherapy. The problem is that a bone marrow transplant might not succeed because the transplanted stem cells don't live long enough or because they proliferate too well, leading to leukemia.

To help determine how long a bone marrow (stem cell) graft will last, researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) have developed a mathematical model that predicts how long a stem cell will live and tested those predictions in a mouse model. The study, led by Christa Muller-Sieburg, Dr. rer. nat., was published online the week of February 28, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"It has long been assumed that stem cells are immortal -- they continue to self-renew, thus generating more stem cells that collectively can outlast an individual's life," said Dr. Muller-Sieburg, professor in Sanford-Burnham's Stem Cells and Regenerative Biology Program. "But now we have found that each stem cell is pre-programmed to self-renew only for a set amount of time that, in mice, ranges from a few months to several years. So we created a computer program that predicts that lifespan."

Researchers drew blood from transplant recipients, took a few initial measurements of the mature white blood cells generated from the transplant, and entered those parameters into a computer program that predicts their lifespan. This information was then compared to the stem cells' true lifespan. Some stem cells lasted five months and others more than three years, but again and again the computer program predicted survival time with surprising accuracy.

Dr. Muller-Sieburg and her colleagues found that stem cell self-renewal is strictly regulated to successfully negotiate a precarious balance: too much self-renewal results in leukemia, while too little leads to bone marrow failure. This new understanding now allows them to better predict the conditions that lead to normal stem cell proliferation.

Not only are these findings relevant to bone marrow transplants, they could also have implications for regenerative medicine. The safety and efficacy of using embryonic and other stem cells for tissue regeneration will depend on harnessing and precisely controlling their proliferative capacity. By providing a better understanding of how stem cells proliferate, and when they die, this lifespan prediction program could help improve their therapeutic potential for diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and other conditions.

Mathematical modeling has other benefits, too. According to lead author Hans Sieburg, Dr. rer. nat, "Computer simulation allows us to generate a hypothesis, make predictions about what should be true, and then better plan our experiments in a way that requires fewer animal experiments."

This study was funded by the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hans B. Sieburg, Betsy D. Rezner, and Christa E. Muller-Sieburg. Predicting clonal self-renewal and extinction of hematopoietic stem cells. PNAS, February 28, 2011 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1011414108

Cite This Page:

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. "How long do stem cells live?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110301111249.htm>.
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. (2011, March 4). How long do stem cells live?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110301111249.htm
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. "How long do stem cells live?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110301111249.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) 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:
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