Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Origins of blood stem cells detemined

Date:
December 14, 2011
Source:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a molecular marker for the immediate precursors of hematopoietic stem cells in the developing embryo, which provides much-needed insights for making these cells from engineered precursors.

A mouse fetus shortly after hematopoietic stem cells appear.
Credit: Nancy Speck, PhD, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

A research team led by Nancy Speck, PhD, professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has discovered a molecular marker for the immediate precursors of hematopoietic (blood) stem cells (HSCs) in the developing embryo, which provides much-needed insights for making these cells from engineered precursors.

Related Images

Because HSCs, found in the bone marrow of adult mammals, generate all of the blood cell types of the body, unlocking the secrets of their origin may help researchers to better manipulate embryonic stem cells to generate new blood cells for therapy. Speck is also an Investigator with the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at Penn. The work was recently published in Cell Stem Cell.

"The ultimate goal for stem-cell therapies is to take precursor stem cells and push them down a particular lineage to replace diseased or dead cells in human adults or children," says Speck. First things first, she says: "You have to understand how this happens in the embryo."

Previous studies indicated that HSCs originated from a small population of cells lining blood vessels, called endothelial cells. But, it was unclear precisely which endothelial cells transitioned to blood stem cells during early development.

In the embryo, there are multiple waves of blood-cell development. The first wave gives the embryo a quick oxygen source and the final wave sets up the development of HSCs that ultimately reside in adult bone marrow. The first wave of progenitors can be generated in the lab from embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells, but efforts to produce hematopoietic stem cells have failed, says Speck.

"Understanding the developmental origins of hematopoietic stem cells is important for learning how to produce them in the lab from embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells," says Speck.

How much closer does this study take hematologists to be able to make HSCs successfully? Scientists can make blood cells from endothelial cells now and can monitor these in the embryo. But not all endothelial cells give rise to HSCs. The team used a special marker to follow the development of HSCs. Progenitor cells in the first wave of embryo blood-cell development and the HSCs of later waves of development differentiate from distinct populations of blood-producing endothelial cells. The marker, called Ly6a, is expressedin the endothelial cells that lead to HSCs, and it is not expressed in endothelial cells that make the first wave of blood cells.

Knowing more about the development of HSCs and its distinct markers will be helpful in making HSCs in the lab for stem-cell therapies so leukemia patients, for example -- many of whom are unable to find suitable donors -- could use their own cells to make HSCs and eventually blood cells depleted by blood cancers and some of its treatments.

The work was funded in part by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. MichaelJ. Chen, Yan Li, MariaElena DeObaldia, Qi Yang, AmandaD. Yzaguirre, Tomoko Yamada-Inagawa, ChrisS. Vink, Avinash Bhandoola, Elaine Dzierzak, NancyA. Speck. Erythroid/Myeloid Progenitors and Hematopoietic Stem Cells Originate from Distinct Populations of Endothelial Cells. Cell Stem Cell, 2011; 9 (6): 541 DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2011.10.003

Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Origins of blood stem cells detemined." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111209105752.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. (2011, December 14). Origins of blood stem cells detemined. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111209105752.htm
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Origins of blood stem cells detemined." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111209105752.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. 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:
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