Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists find bone-marrow environment that helps produce infection-fighting T and B cells

Date:
February 24, 2013
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Medical researchers have deepened the understanding of the environment within bone marrow that nurtures stem cells, this time identifying the biological setting for specialized blood-forming cells that produce the infection-fighting white blood cells known as T cells and B cells.

The Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern has deepened the understanding of the environment within bone marrow that nurtures stem cells, this time identifying the biological setting for specialized blood-forming cells that produce the infection-fighting white blood cells known as T cells and B cells.

The research found that cells called early lymphoid progenitors, which are responsible for producing T cells and B cells, thrive in an environment known as an osteoblastic niche. The investigation, published online February 24 in Nature and led by Dr. Sean Morrison, also establishes a promising approach for scientists to map the entire blood-forming system.

Scientists already know how to manufacture large quantities of stem cells that give rise to the nervous system, skin, and other tissues. But they have been unable to make blood-forming stem cells in a laboratory, in part because of a lack of understanding about the niche in which blood-forming stem cells and other progenitor cells reside in the body.

"We believe this research moves us one step closer toward the development of cell therapies in the blood-forming system that don't exist today," said Dr. Morrison, Director of the Institute and Professor of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. "In understanding the environments for blood-forming stem cells and those of different kinds of progenitor cells, we can work toward reproducing those environments in the lab and growing cells that can be transplanted to treat a host of medical conditions."

These findings eventually may help increase the safety and effectiveness of bone-marrow transplants, such as those needed after healthy marrow is destroyed by radiation or chemotherapy treatments for childhood leukemia, Dr. Morrison said. The findings also may have implications for treating illnesses associated with loss of infection-fighting cells, such as HIV and severe combined immunodeficiency disease, better known as bubble boy disease.

The Nature study augments earlier work by Dr. Morrison and his team that showed endothelial cells and perivascular cells lining the blood vessels in the bone marrow create the environment that maintains haematopoietic stem cells, which produce billions of new blood cells every day. The latest study shows that bone-forming cells create the environment that maintains early lymphoid progenitors.

"Our research documents that there are different niches, or microenvironments, for blood-forming stem cells and restricted progenitors in the bone marrow," Dr. Morrison said. "One way that bone marrow makes different kinds of blood-forming cells is by compartmentalizing them into different neighborhoods within the marrow."

The researchers identified niches for stem cells and early lymphoid progenitors by determining which cells are the sources of a growth factor (CXCL12) necessary for the proliferation of those two populations of blood-forming cells. By taking the same approach for other growth factors in the bone marrow, researchers should be able to map the niches for every kind of blood-forming progenitor cell in the bone marrow, Dr. Morrison said.

The UTSW paper's first author is Dr. Lei Ding, a former postdoctoral research fellow at the Children's Research Institute and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at UT Southwestern. Dr. Ding is now an assistant professor at Columbia University.

Research support came from the HHMI and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lei Ding, Sean J. Morrison. Haematopoietic stem cells and early lymphoid progenitors occupy distinct bone marrow niches. Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nature11885

Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Scientists find bone-marrow environment that helps produce infection-fighting T and B cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130224142913.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2013, February 24). Scientists find bone-marrow environment that helps produce infection-fighting T and B cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130224142913.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Scientists find bone-marrow environment that helps produce infection-fighting T and B cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130224142913.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. 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